Traffic casualties rise

Figures increase for the first time in years

Road signs

Published:  20 July, 2012

THE number of people killed on Britain's roads rose 3% from the previous year in 2011 to 1,901. This is the first increase since 2003. The news comes in spite of the governments stated aim to reduce road deaths by 37% by 2020.

The rise has been blamed in part on central government's 'localism' agenda, which sees more responsibility being put on regional authorities - most of whom are already under pressure to cut budgets wherever possible.

A Transport Select committee of MPs has been set up to look  in to the issue. A statement from it read: "Localism is a key theme of the Government's strategy. It believes decentralising power and funding will allow local authorities to be more flexible and innovative in tackling road safety. We have found considerable variation amongst local authorities in their performance on road safety. Whilst there are examples of good practice, there are cases in which local authorities have not improved their road safety performance in recent years at all."

Proposals from the DfT in 2010 included reducing the MOT test frequency and increasing the speed limit. However, these have been dropped for the time being.

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