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Charity calls for road safety priority
Road safety charity Brake is calling on the government to give far greater priority to preventing devastating road casualties and making communities safer, as new government statistics reveal an increase in people killed and seriously injured on British roads for the first time in 17 years.
The figures show that road deaths increased by 3% and serious injuries increased by 2% in 2011, meaning 51 more deaths and 462 more serious injuries compared to 2010. Road deaths have been decreasing year on year by an average of 9% since 2004, and in 2010 decreased by 17%, so the new statistics represent a dramatic reversal in the long-term trend.
This rise in violent, needless casualties was most significant among vulnerable road users:
• Forty-eight more people were killed on foot in 2011 than in 2010, up 12%, while 254 more pedestrians suffered serious injuries compared to 2010 - an increase of 5%.
• Cyclist deaths decreased by 4% but serious injuries rose by 16%, meaning an additional 425 serious injuries. This follows cyclist deaths and serious injuries overall increasing for the past four years.
These figures come one year on from the launch of the government's strategic framework for road safety, which Brake criticised for its lack of ambition and decisive action on key issues. In line with the ethos of the UN's global Decade of Action for Road Safety, also launched last year, Brake is calling for the government to reprioritise road casualty reduction.