Road Death Rise – Speed or Pandemic?

Speed kills. That’s a long-standing road safety mantra. And, on the face of it, figures from the 2022 Criminal Justice Statistics would seem to back that up. During the year a record 245,000 people appeared in court accused of speeding offences. Over the same period, road deaths in the UK rose by 8.7%, to 1695.

However, according to the Department for Transport (DfT) press release, the rise in deaths is more likely linked to the lifting of lockdown rules. “In the decade prior to the pandemic, fatalities had been broadly stable. The figures for 2022 show a return to pre-pandemic levels.”

Male drivers represented 75% of all fatalities with the 30-49 age group heading the league table. Deaths of motorcyclists, pedestrians and e-scooter riders all increased. The one exception to the upward graph was cyclists, where deaths reduced by 26.

Commenting on the provisional figures issued by the DfT, Edmund King, AA President, said: “We’re still averaging just under five deaths every day on our roads. There needs to be more of a concerted effort and priority for five-star drivers on five-star roads, driving five-star vehicles. These disappointing and tragic figures show there’s still some way to go to stop this carnage.”