Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the government to take action to reduce the numbers killed and seriously injured on UK roads.

In recent years, road safety policy has been diminished by a lack of interest, urgency and resources, the consequences of which are becoming increasingly apparent as our road casualty figures begin to rise. Brake is calling on the government to act now to uphold its commitment to zero road deaths and injuries on the road.

Road casualty figures released by the Department for Transport reveal a 6% increase in overall road deaths and serious injuries, although there has been a small drop in slight injuries over the same period. Road casualties have increased for all road users during this period, with car occupant casualties increasing by 10% and motorcyclist casualties by 5%. The number of children (aged 0-15) killed or seriously injured on our roads has risen by 8%.

The government’s provisional estimates suggest that there has been a “statistically significant” increase in the numbers killed and seriously injured in a crash where one or more of the drivers were under the influence of alcohol. The number of collisions involving alcohol increased by 2% over the same period, revealing a widespread problem that must be addressed if we are to keep our road users safe. Brake is calling on the government to increase the resources available to the police so they can crack-down on dangerous drivers that choose to get behind the wheel when they are over the limit.

Lucy Amos, research advisor for Brake, said: “The figures released today are a clear indication that action should be taken. The significant rise in road deaths and injuries, particularly in those associated with drink-driving must not be ignored. In 2015, the government committed us to a Vision Zero policy – a future where there are no road deaths or serious injuries on our roads. If this is to be achieved, the gradual rise in road casualties must be stopped now.

“This is why Brake is calling for the reintroduction of ambitious road casualty targets to provide motivation for safer roads at the national level; increased investment in infrastructure and vehicle development to ensure our roads are safe and our vehicles secure; and more resources available to the police to enforce road safety legislation and discourage risk-raking behaviour on our roads.”