Transport Secretary Chris Grayling urged to act after road deaths hit a FIVE-YEAR high

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TRANSPORT Secretary Chris Grayling was urged to act today as road deaths hit a FIVE YEAR high.

Official figures revealed 1,792 were killed in 2016 – up 62, or four per cent.

 The number of deaths on the road has hit a five year high, fresh figures revealed today

London News Pictures
The number of deaths on the road has hit a five year high, fresh figures revealed today

The Department for Transport described the overall rise as “not statistically significant” – sparking uproar from motoring organisations.

The number of children dying rose 28 per cent to 69.

Pedestrian deaths rose 10 per cent.

And there was a marked rise in the number of fatal accidents where cars are travelling at just 20mph or at 70mph on rural roads.

AA President Edmund King said: “Five deaths per day is totally unacceptable.

“Whilst the increase may not be statistically significant it is certainly significant to the 62 individuals and their families.”

Other campaigners said road users would view the figures “with dismay” and called for the creation of a road accident investigation branch.

 Transport Minister Chris Grayling has been urged to take action

Getty Images – Getty
Transport Minister Chris Grayling has been urged to take action
SUV inches from being crushed after another car overtakes causing one lorry to topple as a second also crashes

And the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) called for government to bring back Single-Double Summer Time to allow for an extra hour of daylight in the evenings during the autumn school run.

Overall some 24,101 people were seriously injured on the roads in 2016 – up 9 per cent. The DfT insisted the increase was largely down to changes in the way the police classify the severity of

injuries.

A spokesman for the DfT insisted: “Britain has some of the safest roads in the world – and the number of fatalities has fallen by 44 per cent over the last 10 years, but we are determined to do more.”

But the RAC Foundation added that “next to no progress made in cutting the number of crash deaths”.

ROSPA road safety manager Nick Lloyd stormed: “When there’s an increase in traffic with economic growth, generally casualty statistics do tend to go up, but this in no way justifies these shocking figures.

“Britain traditionally has one of the best road safety records in the world, but we must focus our efforts through effective education, engineering and enforcement if we are to make our roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Scene of crash on M5 involving a lorry and several cars surrounded by emergency services

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