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The number of people killed on UK roads remained static for the seventh year in a row, according to figures released by the Department for Transport.

In 2018, there were 1,784 reported road deaths, nine fewer than the 1,793 fatalities recorded in 2017 and 30 more than in 2012.

The Department for Transport figures added there was a total of 160,597 casualties of all severities in reported road traffic accidents in 2018, a 6% reduction compared with 2017 and is the lowest level on record.

The number of serious injuries recorded in 2018 increased to 25,511, meanwhile.

Accounting for change in traffic, the rate of fatalities per billion vehicle miles has fallen by 1% from 5.43 in 2017 to 5.38 in 2018, its ‘Reported road casualties in Great Britain 2018 annual report’ said.

road deaths

Responding to the publication, the data, RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said more progress needs to be made to reduce the number of fatalities on the roads. “This latest set of data makes for disappointing reading. In short, there has been no meaningful reduction in fatalities at a national level for seven consecutive years now,” he said. “While we welcome the government’s renewed focus with the publication of its recent road safety statement, there needs to be a significant shift in policy that will result in far fewer serious collisions.”

He added: “Of particular concern are the rises in fatalities among older age groups and a spike in fatalities on motorways – some worrying trends are emerging here that require immediate investigation, to understand the reasons for these increases and what can be done to reduce them.In addition, the government’s data suggests an increase in motorway collisions where at least one driver has been under the influence of illegal drugs. Historically, Great Britain has been proud of its road safety record, but these figures clearly show that is no room for complacency.”

IAM Roadsmart director of policy and research Neil Greig, also voiced his opinion: “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and it is clear that working in partnership to promote it is the key to returning to critical, long term downward trends. More incentives for post-test training, consistent enforcement of new motoring laws, accelerating the uptake of autonomous emergency braking-equipped cars and promoting best practice in driving for work are just a few examples of the quick gains that could be achieved.”