A new BBC Panorama documentary, “Britain’s Killer Roads” found that there have been a number of cuts to police traffic officers, drink driving checks and speed checks. This has resulted in the fatality rate on roads rising for the first time in 40 years as the police watchdog said they are worried about the trend.
Around 1,600 people die every year when driving on UK roads, the equivalent of three full jumbo jets crashing, according to Matt Parr, the HM Inspector of Constabulary.
Mr Parr continued, saying that the level of accidents on the road was down to cuts to funding and staffing.
He said: “There are some police forces that have a negligible presence on the road, and that’s happened because, in general, it’s been given a low priority.
“The point is that the accident rate, the long decline that we’ve seen, has started to turn around and we think the only thing that really explains that is just the relative decline of roads policing.”
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Neil Hutchinson, motoring expert at JLR Essex, commented on the need for more to be done to protect drivers and make roads safer.
He said: “Driving is the most common mode of transport in the UK, the RAC reporting ‘35.9 million people holding a full car driving licence in England’.
“It’s imperative that we are all doing the utmost to ensure you’re keeping yourself safe, but also other motorists around you.
“Distractions in the car are almost inevitable, but there are things you can do to prevent them and steps to put in place to prevent accidents.”
He urged drivers not to use their phones when driving, not only to avoid the increased £200 fine, but also to ensure their own safety.
By taking a phone call, that can massively distract a driver, who may cause an accident because they stopped paying attention to the road.
Mr Hutchinson advised drivers to keep other distractions to a minimum, including animals, children, music and ensuring sat-nav’s have been pre-programmed before setting off.
This comes as tomorrow, January 18, marks the most dangerous day to drive in the UK, according to 10 years’ worth of data from Admiral Motor Insurance.
New research has shown that 33 percent more motoring claims are made on this day compared with the average day throughout the year.
Lorna Connelly, Head of Claims at Admiral, said: “More of us travel by car in the colder months, so combine that with wetter weather and icier road conditions and driving becomes riskier in the winter.
“Our claims analysis from the last 10 years found that more road accidents happen on 18 January than on any other date, with around 33 percent more claims on this day compared with the average day throughout the year.
“Poor weather combined with busier roads and stressed drivers, as we return from the Christmas break could all be contributing factors.
“While November and December are overall the most treacherous months, with the most accidents, January 18 is overall the date of the year we see the highest number of accident claims.”
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