Action call over road accident figures

More people were injured and killed on Northumberland's roads last year, new figures show, but casualty numbers remain lower than before the pandemic, new figures show
Road accidents safety call.Road accidents safety call.
Road accidents safety call.

Provisional figures from the Department for Transport suggest there were 556 road casualties in Northumberland in 2021 – a rise from 525 the year before, but fewer than the 739 in 2019.

These included 12 fatalities, compared to 13 in 2020, and 149 serious injuries – more than the year before, when there were 102.

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Nationally, there were 127,967 road casualties in 2021 – an 11% rise on the year before – and 1,560 people were killed.

Coronavirus measures in 2020 saw road casualties drop nationally as drivers stayed at home but safety charities have warned more must be done to tackle accidents.

Mark Turner, chief executive of the Road Victims Trust, said: "It remains a terrible fact that four people will be killed on the roads of the UK each day, with many more suffering life-changing injuries.

"It is disturbing to see a climb in the numbers of people affected."

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RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “Our research suggests there is a huge level of concern about the standard of driving on our roads, so we urge the Government to consider reintroducing road safety targets.

“They should also look at whether the long-term decline in full-time road traffic police officers has led to a worsening in driver behaviour."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Road safety is a top priority we are committed to improving through education and updates to the Highway Code that will help protect vulnerable road users.”