9% rise in number of older people killed on roads

The number of older people killed on Britain’s roads has increased by 9% in a year, figures show.

Department for Transport (DfT) data revealed reported road deaths fell from 1,784 in 2018 to 1,752 in 2019, while overall road casualties fell 5% in 12 months to 153,158 – the lowest level on record.

But the number of deaths of people aged 60 and over in reported road accidents increased from 588 to 638.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said it was “alarmed” by the increase.

Michelle Harrington, road safety manager at RoSPA, said: “We know that 196 of the over-60s killed on Britain’s roads last year were behind the wheel at the time of the collision.”

She urged older people who are noticing changes in their driving ability to “seek support”.

The new data showed the number of fatalities of people aged 17 to 24 decreased from 279 to 248 over 12 months, while young casualties overall dropped 6% from 2018 to 26,988.

It also revealed a fall of 5% in child casualties to 13,574, which is the lowest on record.

The were 105 deaths on motorways in 2019, a 2% drop from the previous year, despite the number rising between 2017 and 2018.

The number of car occupant casualties was also the lowest on record at 89,331, representing 58% of casualties in reported road accidents in 2019.

However, RoSPA said it was “deeply concerned” about a “lack of progress” towards reducing the number of road accidents and deaths since 2010.

Ms Harrington added: “We cannot afford for the 2020s to be another lost decade.

“We hope that the recent UK Government road policing consultation will provide an opportunity for a refocus on making our roads safer for all.”