An increase in road deaths among older motorists and child pedestrians is a serious concern, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
Figures released today by the Department for Transport (DfT) show that the number of people aged 60 and over killed in reported road accidents has increased by 5 per cent from 559 (2017) to 588 (2018), with a rise in the number of drivers and riders of motorcycles over 50cc being killed accounting for this. The number of child pedestrians killed rose from 22 in 2017 to 28 in 2018.
Overall the new figures point to a lack of significant progress towards reducing road deaths. In 2018, 1,784 people were killed on Great Britain’s roads compared to 1,793 in 2017- this represents a reduction of just 1 per cent.
Commenting on the latest statistics, Nick Lloyd, acting head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “It is disappointing to see there has been little to no improvement in the number of fatalities on our roads. In light of this, we continue to urge the Government to implement road safety targets to help prevent tragedies in the coming years.
“RoSPA called for greater emphasis to be placed on pedestrian training for children”
“It is particularly concerning to see an increase in the number of older drivers and riders being killed and also a rise in the number of older road users being killed or seriously injured – which was up by nine per cent. We would recommend that mature motorists seek refresher training if they are noticing any changes in their driving or riding; in fact, we recommend that all drivers and riders take regular refresher training to keep their skills up to date.”
Nick Lloyd added: “Last year, RoSPA called for greater emphasis to be placed on pedestrian training for children. This remains a priority for us, as the number of child pedestrians killed in road accidents have risen from 22 in 2017 to 28 in 2018.
It is important that everyone plays their part in helping reduce accidents on the road. In particular, drivers should exercise caution by reducing their speed when passing through built-up areas where vulnerable road users are likely to be about, allowing older people and children more time to cross the road and giving cyclists and motorcyclists plenty of space when overtaking.’
The DfT report also revealed that the number of motorcyclists killed on Great Britain’s roads rose from 349 in 2017 to 354 in 2018. RoSPA offers advanced driver and rider training which aims to reduce road accidents by encouraging an interest in road safety and by improving driving and riding standards, knowledge and skill.
For advice about how to drive safer for longer, visit the RoSPA Older Drivers website. RoSPA has also developed a free, practical pedestrian training pack for teachers of children in years 3 and 4 who don’t have access to a road safety officer, to help them deliver training in this vital life skill.