IAM chief executive Simon Best said:  “It is unacceptable that road deaths and serious injuries have risen for children, pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.

“Cutting road safety education, scrapping casualty targets and cuts in council spending all suggest this isn’t a major priority. The government  needs to show much greater leadership on road safety.

“Last year’s increase in people killed was a serious warning, but this could be the start of a trend.

“More must be done to get drivers to look out for vulnerable road users. We must have changes to the driving test, greater enforcement and incentives for driver training.”

The latest Department for Transport road casualty statistics give the first set of figures for this year, covering January – March 2012. They show some worrying trends for vulnerable road users.

  • The number of cyclist casualties rose by 10 per cent from 3,775 to 4,160.
  • Cyclists killed or seriously injured increased by 13 per cent compared to the same period last year. 700 cyclists were killed or seriously injured compared to 621.
  • Motorcyclists killed or seriously injured increased by 8 per cent from 1,024 to 1,110. The number of overall motorcyclist casualties rose by 7 per cent from 3,946 to 4,240 (Jan-March 2011, compared with Jan-March 2012).
  • The number of children killed or seriously injured in road accidents rose by 9 per cent from 522 to 570.
  • The number of children killed or seriously injured as pedestrians increased from 360 to 410, a rise of 14 per cent.

Over the same period (Jan-March 2011, compared with Jan-March 2012):

  • Car users Killed or seriously injured dropped by 4 per cent, from 2,227 to 2,140. The number of overall casualties among car users also dropped by 4 per cent, from 29,627 down to 28,420.
  • The total number of road casualties decreased by 2 per cent from 47,235 to 46,270.
  • However, the number of road users killed or seriously injured rose by 4 per cent from 47,235 to 46,270 – suggesting that increases in KSIs for vulnerable road users is having an impact on the overall KSI figure.

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