Rise in road casualties prompts concern over decreasing traffic police numbers
Road safety charity, Brake has raised concerns over the number of traffic police in England and Wales following an increase in road causalities.
According to a government response to a parliamentary question, the number of traffic police in England and Wales has fallen by 23% to 4,356 in March 2013 from 5,635 in 2010. The fall in traffic police has been a consistent trend for a number of years, something Brake has highlighted since 2008.
The latest figures from the Department for Transport show that in the year ending September 2014, 1,730 people were killed on UK roads, up from 1,711 the previous year. The number of serious injuries caused by road traffic accidents has also increased to 22,630 during the same period, an increase of 902 cases compared with the previous year.
Helen Williams, a senior road accident solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors Bristol office, said: “A strong police presence on UK roads helps to deter drivers from breaking the law, be it speeding, checking their mobile phone or any other offence. It ultimately helps to prevent reckless driving, which too often is the cause of serious road traffic accidents.
“Despite a rise in deaths and serious injuries on UK roads, the number of officers policing our roads continues to fall, something that is clearly having a detrimental effect on road users’ safety.
“The government must make road safety more of a priority by investing in the police force so that UK roads can be better monitored. It would save lives, yet the government continues to choose cut backs ahead of improving the safety of our roads.”
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