Road deaths fall to all-time low

The number of deaths on Britain's roads fell by 12% last year to an all-time low, according to Government figures.

A total of 2,222 people were killed in 2009, while child deaths, which experienced a slight rise in 2008, dropped sharply from 124 to 81 last year.

The statistics revealed:

:: In accidents reported to the police, 26,096 people were killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads in 2009 - 6% fewer than in 2008;

:: Total casualties last year, including slight injuries, reached just over 222,000 - 4% down on the 2008 total;

:: The number of deaths among car users in 2009 was 1,059 - 16% down on the previous year;

:: The number seriously injured in accidents reported to the police fell by 6% to 10,053, while total reported casualties among car users were 4% down at 143,412;

The first annual road casualty figures were calculated in 1926. The worst peacetime year was in 1966, with a total of 7,985 people killed on Britain's roads, although an all-time high of 9,169 deaths was recorded in 1941 during wartime night blackouts.

Compulsory seatbelts, drink-drive crackdowns and traffic calming measures have led to the annual death toll dropping gradually in recent decades, with the figure dipping below the 3,000-a-year mark for the first time in 2007.

The figures also showed that the number of people killed on motorways in Britain last year dipped 16% to 132, while total motorway casualties fell 7% to 10,656.

Calculated per police force, the highest number of deaths last year was in the Metropolitan Police area, with 182 people killed.

The second-highest death toll was in West Yorkshire (84), followed by the Thames Valley (81).

There were just three deaths in the City of London and only six in Fife in Scotland.

Copyright © Press Association 2010