Road deaths lowest since records began

The number of people killed on British roads has dropped to the lowest level since national records began.

According to figures released yesterday from the Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2013 Annual Report, the number of people killed on UK roads dropped by two per cent compared with the previous year.

In 2013, a total of 1,713 people were killed in road accidents on British roads, compared with 1,754 in 2012, the lowest number since the records started in 1926.

Similarly, the number of people seriously injured dropped by six per cent to 21,657, while road casualties reported to police also dropped by six per cent to 183,670.

Neil Greig of the Institute of Advanced Motorists said: “We welcome the overall decrease in road deaths although the long term trends show improvements are slowing down.”

Despite the fall in overall deaths, motorway fatalities have risen by a total of 14 per cent in the past year, while the number of children hit by cars has also risen by 30 per cent.

Stealth Cameras

As a result, police around the country are starting to crack down on motorists breaking the limits on motorways with the introduction of new ‘stealth” speed cameras.

First initiated by Avon and Somerset police, the cameras have been set up to specifically target motorists exceeding the 70mph limit on the motorways.

According to the force, the new cameras will flash at all drivers exceeding the maximum 79mph and the Avon and Somerset police reported that 549 drivers were caught within a fortnight of the cameras’ introduction.

Reports have claimed that, as a result, blanket enforcement could be rolled out across the whole motorway network, meaning any driver caught breaking the limit would receive a penalty.

Mr Greig continued: “It’s worrying that motorways have seen an increase in deaths, which is only partly explained by the increase in traffic on them.”

However, he noted that he favoured driver education as an alternative to speed cameras, saying: “The problem of death and serious injury among motorcycle riders remains and we want to see more use of training opportunities and partnerships to improve both skills and attitudes.”

Ford Driving skills for life

Several manufacturers are also starting to introduce driver training programmes, including Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programme which is currently touring the UK.

First announced last June, the program aims to educate young drivers on the risks and hazards they can face on the roads.

Participants can register for either a morning or afternoon session of free driver training, which aims to improve the skills of young British drivers.