Pedestrian fatalities annual increase ‘should be a red flag to the Government’

Pedestrian fatalities annual increase ‘should be a red flag to the Government’
The Department for Transport (DfT) has released its report on road collisions in Great Britain in 2023 – and it has highlighted a worrying growth in the number of pedestrians deaths despite the changes to the Highway Code.

In total, there were an estimated 1,645 fatalities, a decline of 4% compared to 2022, but pedestrian fatalities showed an increase of 6%.

Further analysis of the data showed that the biggest percentage change compared to 2022 was for motorcyclists, which showed a decline of 12%.

Also, car occupant fatalities showed a decline of 5%, and pedal cyclist fatalities showed a decline of 7%.        

The DfT data showed that 29,643 people were killed or seriously injured (KSI) in road incidents, showing little change compared to 2022.

Overall, the report stated that there were fatalities per billion vehicle miles travelled, a decline of 6% compared to 2022.

When it comes to the sex of those involved, 75% of fatalities and 61% of casualties of all severities were male.

Regarding age groups, the highest rate was for those from 17 to 29 years old, who accounted for 24% of fatalities and 29% of casualties.

Following the UK Government’s release of its annual road casualty statistics, RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “While there has been a slight decline in the year-on-year number of road users killed in crashes, the larger proportion of pedestrian fatalities, which is now at its highest since before the pandemic, should be a red flag to the Government signifying just how dangerous our roads still are.

“It’s extremely concerning that these figures have risen in the two years since the Highway Code was changed with a view to making the roads safer for the most vulnerable users.

“We hope there isn’t a negative link between the two, but with RAC research showing a third of drivers think pedestrians now face greater danger at junctions due to the changes, there seem to be questions that need answering.

“In terms of overall road user casualties, it appears the youngest and oldest age groups are most at risk.

“The number of female fatalities between the ages of 0-16 increased by 17% compared to 2022, and the percentage for males within the same age group jumped by a third (31%) compared to the year before.

“Among the 414 female fatalities on our roads in 2023, nearly four-in-10 (151 – 36%) were in the 70 and over age group. 

“Any number of deaths on the road is too many, so we strongly encourage the new Government not to take these figures lightly and to make road safety a priority.

“We continue to believe the Government should reinstate road casualty reduction targets.”

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