• 1,732 people killed on GB roads in 2015 – down 2 per cent since 2014 and the second lowest year on record
  • 22,137 serious injuries on GB roads in 2015 – down 3 per cent since 2014 and the second lowest year on record

Brake, the road safety charity, has welcomed the slight drop in deaths and serious injuries on Great Britain’s roads, but is calling for more to be done to speed up the process of reducing casualties and fatalities. Five families are still getting that devastating knock on the door every day to say their loved one is never coming home.

The campaigning charity says its ambition of achieving ‘vision zero’ – no more deaths and serious injuries on our roads, is still some way off. Brake is calling on the government to reintroduce ambitious casualty reduction targets, to keep the fightback against road crashes moving in the right direction.

There has been a welcome reduction in the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists killed. The number of pedestrians killed dropped by 8 per cent last year, but that was still 409 lives needlessly lost. The number of cyclists who died on the roads fell by 12 per cent – but that was still 100 lives ended too soon.

Not all vulnerable road users have seen their safety improve though; there has been a worrying increase in the number of motorcyclists killed, up 8 per cent to 365.

There has also been a slight increase in the number of child fatalities up 2 per cent to 54. More than a third of child casualties were pedestrians and almost a third occurred between 3pm and 5pm.

Though the numbers are small there are early indications that introducing 20mph limits appear to reduce road deaths. The number of people killed on 20mph roads in 2015 fell from 28 to 14. This is why Brake is repeating its call for the default urban speed limit to be reduced from 30mph to 20mph.

Lucy Amos, research advisor for Brake, said: “While we welcome the reduction in road deaths and serious injuries in 2015, the government figures released reveal the danger of complacency. Although slight reductions have been achieved, we must remember that no road death is acceptable and we should not compromise when it comes to people’s lives and the safety of our roads.

“Vehicle traffic has been steadily increasing for the past few years; action must be taken now to prevent the numbers of vehicles overwhelming safety measures. The increase in motorcycle deaths last year is a clear indicator that something must be done now to secure the safety of vulnerable road users in particular. This is why Brake is calling for the reintroduction of ambitious casualty reduction targets to act as a driving force for the fight against road death and injury at the national level.”