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2012-07-02 14:29

A WARNING FOR BRITAIN: For the first time in a decade Britain's road death toll has increased. The UK's population (62-million) may be much larger than South Africa (48-million) but Britain has a significantly lower road death toll.

Britain's Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has urged a greater focus on road safety after the publication of annual casualty figures showed the first increase in UK road deaths since 2003.

The UK’s department of transport 2012 figures show that road deaths rose by 3%, from 1850 fatalities in 2010, to 1901 in 2011.

In South Africa, the road death toll during the 2011/2012 festive season alone stood at 1475, according to transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele.

By contrast, in the UK, there were 453 pedestrian deaths in 2011, a rise of 12% from 2010 and the number of seriously injured pedestrians increased by 5% to 5454.

CHILD ROAD DEATHS

Child deaths rose by 9% from 55 in 2010 to 60 in 2011. The number of seriously injured children fell by four per cent to 2352 in 2011. At 19 474, the overall number of child casualties barely changed between 2010 and 2011.

The number of cyclists killed dropped by 4% from 111 in 2010 to 107 in 2011 despite the increasing number of cyclists on the road. Figures for seriously injured cyclists showed an increase of 16% to 3085.

Motorcyclist deaths dropped by 10% to 362 though the number of seriously injured riders increased by 10% to 5247.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “This is the first time that annual road deaths have risen since 2003 and it follows three years where deaths reduced by several hundred per year.

“RoSPA is concerned that reduced public spending on road safety, especially cuts to local authority and road policing budgets, may be partly to blame.”

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