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June 28, 2010

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Spending-cuts concern for road safety

The number of deaths on Britain’s roads fell by 12.5 per cent from 2538 in 2008 to 2222 last year, according to new figures from the Department for Transport.

RoSPA believes that the decline in road fatalities, which have also decreased by 38 per cent from the 1994-8 baseline, shows the success of road-safety policies over recent years.€ᄄ€ᄄ

The figures also show a sharp decrease in the number of children killed – from 124 in 2008 to 81 in 2009. The number of road users seriously injured fell by 5 per cent to 24,684 over the same period.

€ᄄ€ᄄDeclaring the figures good news, Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “All of this shows the value of having a comprehensive road-safety strategy. The challenge now is to keep this momentum going and continue the reduction in death and injury on the roads in the current economic climate.€ᄄ€ᄄ

“With public spending reducing dramatically, we need to find ways of ensuring that our investment in road safety is maintained. In addition to the human cost of road accidents, the financial cost to the country runs into the billions of pounds – money that Britain could really do with saving. Preventing accidents is highly cost-effective.”€ᄄ€ᄄ

Measures that could have a positive impact, said Clinton, include: lowering the drink-drive limit and introducing random breath-testing; improving driver training and testing; introducing an extra hour of evening daylight all year round by switching to Single/Double Summer Time; and harnessing vehicle and road technology to make driving safer and more fuel-efficient.

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