A safety group described road casualty figures as ‘a disgrace’ today even though the number of deaths fell last year.
A total of 3,150 people died on British roads in 2006, provisional figures published by the Department for Transport (DfT) showed.
This was a 2 per cent reduction on the 2005 fatality figure of 3,201.
The total killed or seriously injured (KSI) on the roads last year fell 2 per cent to 31,540, while slight injuries were 5 per cent down at 226,600.
All casualties (KSIs plus slight injuries) totalled 258,140 – a 5 per cent drop on the 2005 figure.
The government has set itself a target of reducing KSIs by 40 per cent by 2010 compared with the average KSIs for 1994/98.
The latest figures mean that KSIs have reduced by 34 per cent on the 1994/98 average, although taking deaths in isolation, the rate has reduced only 12 per cent on the 1994/98 average.
Road safety charity Brake urged the government today to set a separate target for fatalities ‘where reductions are still shockingly small’.
Brake also expressed concern that bicycle KSIs were 2 per cent up in 2006.
Brake campaigns head Cathy Keeler said: ‘It is a disgrace that there are still nine deaths on our roads every day and alarming that these deaths have not fallen significantly in recent years.
‘Deaths among cyclists are actually on the increase. While there are still speeding drivers and people drunk, drugged or unlicensed behind the wheel, we will continue to see appalling carnage on our roads.
‘The government must wake up to the urgent need for off-road cycle paths, compulsory 20mph limits around our homes and schools and an increased and ongoing crackdown on law-breaking and dangerous drivers.’
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