The number of people killed on the roads in Great Britain has risen again, with another statistically significant rise in serious casualties and a ‘truly shocking’ rise in the number of children killed or seriously injured.
The latest Department for Transport (DfT) statistics reveal a 22% increase in the number of children killed or seriously injured (KSI) between July and September 2016.
There were an estimated 1,810 road deaths in the year ending September 2016, a 2% increase from the previous year (1,767).
DfT officials said the change was not statistically significant, meaning that it was ‘small enough that it can be explained by the natural variation in deaths over time’.
However, the number of road deaths in Great Britain has risen steadily since a low of 1,711 in the year ending September 2013.
There were a total of 25,160 KSIs in the year ending September 2016, up by 6% from the previous year.
Officials said the rise indicated that a number of factors that had ‘combined together to worsen some aspects of safety on Britain’s roads’.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said the increase in KSI casualties was ‘very concerning – even against a picture of a 1.4% rise in traffic levels’ and added the KSI figures for children were 'truly shocking'.
An estimated 2% quarterly rise in child casualties of all severities was ‘yet more reason to worry’.
‘In the 21st century this seems utterly wrong so we need to understand as a matter of priority why these increases have occurred and take action to save young lives before more are lost,’ he said.
Officials routinely warn that quarterly casualty figures are prone to fluctuation and that changes should be interpreted with caution and may not be indicative of an ongoing trend.
The annual increase in child KSIs was 8%.
Mr Williams also described as ‘a real cause for concern’ estimates showing a statistically significant rise in 2015 in the number of KSIs in accidents where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit.
He said that if the estimate proves to be correct when the final numbers are released in August it will be the first rise in this type of drink-drive casualty since 2010.