Road deaths: Charities say ‘decisive action’ is needed

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In 2018, there were 8,208 people hurt or killed

More needs to be done to reduce the number of deaths on roads in Wales, safety campaigners have said.

The call comes after UK government figures showed there were more than 100 fatalities and about 1,000 serious injuries in Wales in each of the last five years.

This is despite a 30% drop in the total number of incidents where there were casualties of any kind.

The Welsh Government said it was looking at ways of reducing accidents.

The figures include incidents involving pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and motorcyclists.

In 2018, there were 8,208 people hurt or killed, compared to 5,758 in 2014.

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Half of the deaths in 2018 involved people in cars, but for the first time, the number of pedestrians killed in Wales (25) was higher than the number of motorcyclists (17).

“Whilst the reduction in the total number of crashes in Wales is positive news, tragically, the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads continues to stagnate,” said Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake.

“Every road death or serious injury is preventable and with more than three a day, on average, on Welsh roads it’s clear that decisive action needs to be taken.

“We welcome the stated intent of the Welsh Government to introduce 20mph limits on residential streets and urge the swift implementation of the policy.

“Speed is always a factor in a road crash and slower speeds are proven to save lives.”

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Philip Gomm, from the RAC Foundation said it was time to start looking at “systematic problems” behind the main causes of crashes.

He added: “Whilst too many drivers are using their mobile phones at the wheel and having a collision, the underlying issue might, for example, be down to companies unfairly expecting their employees to be in constant touch with the office when they are on the road.

“Suddenly this becomes a health and safety matter rather than merely a roads policing issue.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Every injury on our roads is one too many, and we continue to work with local authorities and our partners to look at all options available to us to further reduce the numbers of accidents on our road network.

“Our trunk roads are some of the safest in the world, but we work hard to regularly monitor and inspect them to ensure they are as safe as possible for road users.”

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