PACTS criticises “lamentable progress in reducing GB road deaths since 2010”

PACTS criticises “lamentable progress in reducing GB road deaths since 2010”




Government figures published today[1] (9.30am 26 June) confirm that UK no longer tops the international league table for road safety. Progress in reducing roads deaths since 2010 has slowed dramatically.

Progress in GB slowed in 2013 with a decrease of only 2% in the number of people killed on the roads – from 1,754 deaths in 2012 to 1,713 in 2013. There was a 6% decrease in people reported seriously injured.

David Davies, Executive Director of PACTS, added “There were welcome falls in the number of road casualties reported in 2013. However, the number of people killed (the most reliable reported casualty figure) shows a fall of only 2% in 2013 and progress since 2010 has been lamentable. The Government’s vision is “to ensure that Britain remains a world leader on road safety”.[2] Today’s figures show that the Government is failing and that it badly needs to step up its efforts. Whereas in the three years 2006-2009 the number of people killed fell by 950 (30%), in the period 2010-2013 it fell by only 137 (7%). Casualty reductions cannot be taken for granted. The reductions that resulted from the economic recession seem to be at an end.”

Davies continued, “This Government has rejected the independent report by Sir Peter North to cut the drink drive limit, reneged on its commitment[3] to publish a green paper on young driver safety[4] and has taken little action to tackle the high levels of casualties on rural roads. At the same time, resources for roads policing and local authority road safety continue to fall. The Government published its “final progress report” on its road safety action plan last year yet there is so much that remains to be done.”

According to a report published by PACTS in March this year, one third of a million people are likely to be killed or seriously injured on GB’s roads between 2011 and 2030, assuming past progress is maintained. The cost to society of these deaths and injuries is officially estimated at £110 billion.[5]

The Government figures confirm the recent PIN report from the European Transport Safety Council which showed that the UK no longer tops the international road safety league table. Sweden now heads the table with 27 deaths per million population compared with 28 deaths per million in the UK.[6]

Davies added

“Not only are England out of the World Cup but the UK has lost its top position in the road safety league.”

David Davies commented “The 13% reduction in children killed or seriously injured is particularly welcome. However, a 30% increase in child pedestrian deaths was masked by decreases in child passenger and child cyclist deaths. It is important to remember that road traffic incidents remain the leading cause of death for young people aged 5-25 in the UK.”[7]

Compared with 2012, deaths and serious injuries decreased in 2013 for nearly all major road user groups. However, the number of motorcyclists killed increased by 1% despite a fall of 5% in motorcycle traffic. Serious injuries to bus and coach occupants also increased – by 6%.

For the first time since 2004, the number of cyclists reported seriously injured declined – by 2% between 2012 and 2013. However, no data are provided on levels of cycle use so it is not possible to say if this is the result of greater safety or changes in the amount of cycling. Similarly, there are no data on the amount of walking.



Note to Editors: The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is a registered charity and associate all-party Parliamentary group. Its charitable objective is: To protect human life through the promotion of transport safety for the public benefit. It was established over 30 years ago by MPs to press for legislation on seat-belt wearing.

For further details, please contact David Davies, Executive Director, PACTS   Tel: 020 7222 7732

PACTS, Clutha House, 10 Storey’s Gate, Westminster, London SW1P 3AY

Twitter: @pacts


[1] DfT, Reported Road Casualties Great Britain, Main Results 2013, 26 June 2014

[2] DfT, Strategic Framework for Road Safety, 2011, p11

[3] PACTS press notice, Government U Turn on young driver safety, December 2013

[4] See PACTS policy paper: Getting young drivers back on the road – in safety. April 2013

[5] C. G. B. (Kit) Mitchell and R. E. Allsop, Projections of road casualties in Great Britain to 2030, March 2014, PACTS.

[6] ETSC 8th Annual Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) Report ,June 2014 and DfT Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2012, September 2013, Table RAS52001, p224

[7] IHME (2010 data) and ONS (Eng & Wales 2012):–deaths-registered-in-england-and-wales–series-dr-/2012/info-causes-of-death.html


The Department for Transport Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Main Results 2013 is now available on the DfT website


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