Pedestrian fatalities increased by 6% in 2023 – RAC reaction

Following the UK Government’s release of its annual road casualty statistics, RAC head of policy Simon Williams has commented.

“While there has been a slight decline in the year-on-year number of road users killed in crashes, the larger proportion of pedestrian fatalities, which is now at its highest since before the pandemic, should be a red flag to the Government signifying just how dangerous our roads still are,” he says.

“It’s extremely concerning that these figures have risen in the two years since the Highway Code was changed with a view to making the roads safer for the most vulnerable users. We hope there isn’t a negative link between the two, but with RAC research showing a third of drivers think pedestrians now face greater danger at junctions due to the changes, there seem to be questions that need answering.

“In terms of overall road user casualties, it appears the youngest and oldest age groups are most at risk. The number of female fatalities between the ages of 0-16 increased by 17% compared to 2022, and the percentage for males within the same age group jumped by a third (31%) compared to the year before. Among the 414 female fatalities on our roads in 2023, nearly four-in-10 (151 – 36%) were in the 70 and over age group.

“Any number of deaths on the road is too many, so we strongly encourage the new Government not to take these figures lightly and to make road safety a priority. We continue to believe the Government should reinstate road casualty reduction targets.”


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