‘Inevitable’: Road casualties will increase within months without a ‘change’ in safety

THINK! Road Safety release key country driving tip

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EuroRAP and Ageas’ Building Back Safer: Making Roads Fit for 2030 report has warned accidents will return to pre-pandemic levels within months. The report shows there were between 1,700 and 1,800 deaths on UK roads each year between 2011 and 2019.

However, last year there were 1,472 fatal accidents recorded in a new low.

Experts have warned the pandemic has played an “enormous part” due to there being less traffic on the road.

But they warn the 16 percent reduction in accidents did not match the 21 percent reduction in traffic volumes.

With Freedom Day around the corner, experts have warned it is “inevitable” traffic volumes and incidents will start to rise.

They suggest without a “step change” in safety and more investment, injuries and deaths on the roads were sure to rise.

The report said: “Without a step-change in road safety performance, and the investment necessary to drive this, the number of road casualties will also increase, with the possibility that they too will return to pre-pandemic levels once again.

“Before we can return to the ambition of reducing the annual road death toll year-on-year, therefore, we need to lower the curve as casualty numbers increase again.

“While the record low in road deaths in 2020 is clearly very welcome, we now need to build on this to ensure we never return to the days when we suffered five deaths and many more life-changing injuries on Britain’s roads every single day.”

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The report suggests there should be a new approach to road safety to proactively address any risks instead of waiting for crashes to happen.

Lord Whitty of Camberwell, Chairman of the Road Safety Foundation said there was now a “unique opportunity” to “reshape” transport.

He said: “Ahead of us is a unique opportunity to re-shape the way we move – to plan for healthier mobility – redefining our neighbourhoods to support safer active travel.

“Such changes may help us to deliver lower casualty numbers in the future while also helping to achieve health, exercise, net zero carbon and air quality goals.”

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