The number of fatalities resulting from road accidents fell by 14 per cent in 2008 the latest figures from the Department for Transport have shown.
The statistics published today (June 25) reveal that 2,538 people were killed in road accidents reported to the police in Great Britain in 2008, a drop from 2,946 in 2007.
The number of people killed or seriously injured has also fallen, down by seven per cent in 2008 to 28,567 people.
The number of deaths and seriously injured among car users in 2008 both fell, by 12 per cent and seven per cent respectively. Total reported casualties among car users was also down, eight per cent lower than 2007 at 149,169.
The number of children killed or seriously injured in 2008 was 2,807, down nine per cent on 2007. Of those, 1,784 were pedestrians, six per cent down on 2007. The number of children that died on the roads, however, rose marginally, up 2 per cent on the previous year, when the lowest ever child fatality figure of 121 was recorded.
Commenting on the figures the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead for roads policing, Chief Constable Mick Giannasi, said that driver education programmes had a part to play in the continually dropping figures.
"It is pleasing to see that the number of people killed on British roads continues to fall year on year. Whilst better road and vehicle design are clearly having a significant impact, there is no doubt that driver education programmes and increased enforcement activity have played a vital role in helping to reduce the number of fatalities by 14% from 2007 to 2008.
"However, we cannot be complacent. The reality is that 78 people die or are seriously injured on our roads each day. That is still unacceptable. The police service is committed to continuing to drive down this number and will continue to target people who put themselves and other road users in danger - whether through careless driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, excessive use of speed or other criminal activity," he said.
Other areas where figures have fallen include:
- Pedestrian casualties down by six per cent
- Number of cyclists killed down by 15 per cent
- Motorcycle user fatalities down 16 per cent lower
- Motorcycle users killed or seriously injured down ten percent
- All motorcycle user casualties down eight per cent
- Road accidents involving personal injury was down six per cent
In 2000, the Government announced a new road safety strategy and set new targets for reducing casualties by 2010. It wants to see:
- 40 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents compared with the average for 1994-98;
- 50 per cent reduction in the number of children killed or seriously injured;
- 10 per cent reduction in the slight casualty rate, expressed as the number of people slightly injured per 100 million vehicle kilometres.
In April 2009, the government published proposals for a new post 2010 road safety strategy A Safer Way: consultation on making Britain’s roads the safest in the world. This included proposed targets for achievement by 2020, compared to a baseline of the average for 2004 to 2008.