The number of people reported to be killed on the UK's roads rose in 2011, the first time there's been an increase in eight years.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has released new statistics which show that through 2011 the Police received in total 1,901 reports of deaths from British road accidents, a three per cent increase compared to 2010.
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Also in 2011 the total number of deaths and serious injuries reported on UK roads was 25,023, a two per cent rise on 2010. It's also the first time this particular figure has increased since 1994.
The total figure for number of UK road-related casualties, which includes slight injuries as well as serious injuries and death, actually fell in 2011 to 203,950
Further figures analysing 2011 reveal that the total reported child casualties (ages 0-15) continued to fall last year, going down 0.5 per cent to 19,474. The number of children killed or seriously injured on UK roads fell 4 per cent to 2,412.
The number of car occupant deaths last year rose 6 per cent to 883. Total casualties (deaths, serious injuries and slight injuries) among car users reached 124,924 - 7 per cent fewer than in 2010.
Car and taxi traffic increased slightly - by 0.2 per cent - between 2010 and 2011.
There were 453 pedestrian deaths last year - 12 per cent more than in 2010. Seriously injured pedestrian casualties also increased - by 5 per cent to 5,454.
The number of pedal cyclists killed fell from 111 in 2010 to 107 in 2011. Pedal cyclist serious injuries were up 16 per cent and total pedal cycle casualties rose 12 per cent.
There were 362 motorcycle users killed in 2011 - a 10 per cent decrease compared with 2010. But serious injuries were up 10 per cent and total casualties among motorcyclists rose 8 per cent.
Motoring industry reaction
Commenting on its latest figures, the Department for Transport said: 'Adverse weather (heavy snowfalls) experienced in the first and last quarters of 2010 but not in 2011 are likely to be a factor in the increase in serious road casualties and fatalities recorded in 2011'.
But Transport Secretary Justine Greening, speaking in the House of Commons, said this week: 'We had some exceptional weather in that period and that was one of the reasons why there was such a change (in the casualty figures)'.
She said the Government was committed to improving road safety, adding: 'As far as I am concerned, one accident is too many. We are obviously concerned to make sure we improve our road safety record.'
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, expressed particular concern on the 12 per cent increase of pedestrian deaths in 2011.
He said: 'We need to know why this is; is it due to more and more people being distracted by using mobile phones and listening to music?'
'Most of these deaths will have been on urban roads managed by local authorities, the same local authorities for whom central government has removed casualty reduction targets and slashed road safety budgets. The concern is that there is a direct link between these factors.'