UK & World News
MPs Warn Over Road Safety As Deaths Increase
A group of MPs is telling the Government more could be done to tackle road safety after figures showed the first increase in road deaths for eight years.
The number of people killed on Britain's roads rose by nearly 3% last year - the first increase in almost a decade, according to Government figures.
The House of Commons Transport Committee report is calling for more to be done to keep Britain's roads safer.
Launching the report, committee chairman Louise Ellman MP said: "We are very concerned that 2011 saw the first increase in road fatalities since 2003, with 1,901 people killed on the roads.
"It is shocking that road accidents are the main cause of death among young adults aged 16-24 and that so many cyclists continue to be killed or injured.
"In 2010, there were 283 fatalities amongst car occupants aged 16-25, while 27% of young men aged 17-19 are involved in a road collision within the first year of passing their test."
She went on: "If the Government is not willing to set targets, it should show more leadership.
"Action is required to improve road safety for young drivers, including an independent review of driver training."
Adrian Davison, 18, died when a car being driven by his best friend left the road in Bramhope near Leeds.
His father Tony wants to see road safety added to the school curriculum, and describes these latest figures as disappointing.
"The figures have been falling year-on-year, so it's disappointing to see a dip like this," he told Sky News.
"Let's hope it is just a dip because every one of those numbers represents a tragedy for other families."
The Department for Transport chose not to be interviewed about the report.
But Road Safety minister Mike Penning has issued a statement saying: "Naturally, I am disappointed that there has been even a small increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured in 2011, however deaths and serious injuries last year were still 7% below 2009 and the number killed was also the second lowest since the 1930s.
"We continue to take urgent action to crack down on the most dangerous drivers and improve training to make our roads safer."
AA president Edmund King said: "The report highlights the need for leadership yet quotes the Association of Chief Police Officers as saying that road safety is not part of their strategic policing requirements and hence chief constables will not necessarily look at roads policing because there are no national targets.
"We believe that more emphasis in road safety needs to be put on enforcement and that a reduction in cops in cars will do nothing to deter the drunk, drugged, distracted, dangerous drivers."