Latest statistics from the Department for Transport’s annual report of reported road casualties in the UK shows that the number of road fatalities on UK roads went up in 2017 from 2016 by one fatality.
The number of road fatalities in 2016 (1,792) was also an increase of 4% from 2015, showing a gradual decline in the safety of UK roads. Worryingly, out of these fatalities, 785 were not wearing a seatbelt, which is a record high number. This accounts for over a quarter (27%) fatalities in road crashes in 2017, which is a significant increase from the previous high of 22%.
As well as this, the number of pedestrian fatalities has also risen by 5% to 470, which is a nine-year high. There was also a rise in the number of fatalities of vulnerable road users, including a 9% rise in motorcyclist fatalities.
Although the increase in road fatalities from 2016 is minuscule, many are concerned by the negative trend and feel that the number of fatalities should be going down rather than up. Edmund King, President of The AA, feels that the Government needs to push harder to reduce the number of road fatalities: “Back in 2010, the Coalition Government removed road safety targets. We feel it is time to bring back a challenging target and aim to reduce annual road deaths to zero within 10 years. We should also improve driver education, police enforcement and indeed engineering of some of our most dangerous roads.”