Road deaths scandal: Greens back Parliamentary Report that calls for an end to the “Scandal of Complacency” on road deaths [Media Release]

Eastern Region Green Party is backing a report issued this week by the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee entitled “Ending the Scandal of Complacency: Road Safety beyond 2010”.

The Report calls for a much bolder strategy to address road safety calling it the “major public health problem of our age.”
As well as the human tragedies involved, the Committee found that the total cost of road crashes in the UK was a staggering £18 billion a year.
Green Party Councillors in Eastern Region and across the country have been active in calling for much better road safety to cut the annual toll of death and injury on the roads and to make roads and pavements much safer for walking and cycling. Greens believe that a safer road environment will encourage and enable people to walk and cycle more who are currently intimidated by traffic volumes and speeds.
Green Councillors in Norwich successfully won backing for a city wide 20mph zone that is to be trialled in three zones of the city from early 2009. In Essex, Green Party Councillors have helped to secure reductions in speed limits on rural roads below the default 60mph limit and are calling for a county wide reduction on all rural roads as part of a review that is currently underway.
Department for Transport figures for 2007 show that 3178 people in Eastern Region were involved in “KSI” road crashes – Killed or Seriously Injured. Of these, 335 people died – an average of almost a death every day on the roads of Eastern Region.
The Transport Committee recommended that local authorities be given more powers to introduce 20mph speed limits, increased enforcement to tackle drink-driving and the creation of a road safety commission.
Cllr. Rupert Read, Prospective Green Party MEP for Eastern Region said:
“We very much agree with the Transport Committee findings. Whilst the number of people killed or seriously injured is reducing, it is totally unacceptable that thousands of people are killed every year, and many more seriously injured.
The MPs are absolutely right to refer to this ongoing car-nage as a scandal.  The number of deaths and injuries on our roads far outweighs those in all other transport modes or in other work-related accidents put together. It is not just a failure of transport policy that this continues, but the major public health problem of our age.
“Road crashes affect the poor and the young most and are the largest single cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 35 in Britain. Not only do we need much higher standards of road safety, we need the Green Party policy of integrated public transport to encourage people to make more use of safer means of transport, including trains and buses.”

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