Government policies have led to a rise in those killed or seriously injured on UK roads, says a leading road safety organisation.
The IAM said years of Government cutbacks and the resulting drop in visible policing has led to the increase in figures.
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said, “It is disappointing that after many years of solid falls in the numbers of people killed and injured on our roads, the Government has taken its eye off the ball.
“These figures reflect our view that cuts in visible policing and road safety spending has had an impact, with a third successive quarter of increases. We have had pretty much two decades of falls in the KSI (killed/seriously injured) figures, and while these new figures can in no way be regarded as a trend, they are a big concern.”
Neil added that the Government has been ‘riding its luck’ to an extent, and that the recession has played its part in artificially making the figures seem better than they really are.
He added, “Recent transport ministers have been lucky. The recession had slowed traffic growth, new car technology has delivered safer roads year on year and most accident black spots have now been engineered out of existence.”
There was 1,711 deaths, a 1% increase, 24,360 killed or seriously injured casualties in the year ending September 2014, a 4% increase compared with the previous year.
Child KSI casualties rose by 3% over this period.
For the year ending September 2014, there were 192,910 reported road casualties of all severities, 5% higher than the 184,087 for the year ending September 2013.
Neil added that this is the perfect opportunity to stress that a change in driver attitude must happen before we see any major fall in numbers killed and injured on our roads.
He said, “This is an opportunity for us to prove the key underlying part that driver skills and behaviour play in road safety.
“Most crashes are caused by human error, and technology can only deliver so much. If we don’t change policy we will still be killing 1,000 people a year in 2030 – that is unacceptable. Driver behaviour, skills and training will be the key focus for our future research and policy work.”
In Wales up to the end of last year there were 8,135 people injured in accidents on roads, including 111 deaths.
Nearly 40 deaths happened in the Dyfed Powys police area, twice the number recorded in Gwent with North and South Wales police forces reporting 27 deaths each.
Slight injury accidents in South Wales were highest at nearly 3,000 people.