Charity urges action as road deaths rise

ON THE RISE: The number of people killed in road accidents has increased for the first time in 18 years.

ON THE RISE: The number of people killed in road accidents has increased for the first time in 18 years.

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The government must take radical steps to curb an alarming increase in the number of people killed on the road.

That’s the message from a road safety charity after latest figures revealed that the number of people killed in traffic accidents in the UK is on the rise.

New statistics, released by the Department for Transport, show that for the first time in 18 years the total number of deaths on the road has increased.

It comes after a 61-year-old man died in Leeds after being hit by a van near a petrol 
station in Kirkstall Road in January.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) said it was “very concerned” about the rising death toll and called for the government to help protect pedestrians.

Neil Craig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “These figures are greatly concerning and show the time for action is now.

“We are clear on what needs to happen. We call again for road safety targets to be reintroduced – they are the only clear way of ensuring reductions are measured and achieved.”

There was a total of 1,775 people killed on UK roads last year and more than 190,000 people suffered injuries.

The number of pedestrians fatalities was 446 last year - a 12 per cent increase on the previous year.

Mr Craig said there needed to be better pedestrian facilities, to separate traffic from people where speed limits are high.

He said: “There also needs to be a focus on tackling pedestrian deaths, an area which is often ignored.

“We believe that car technology and design should now shift from occupant protection to protecting the vulnerable outside cars.

“We need better pedestrian facilities to segregate traffic and vulnerable users where speeds are high, and campaigns to educate pedestrians themselves as they are most often at fault in crashes.”

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