Road traffic accidents are the biggest cause of teen deaths around the world, according to new data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
More than 1.2 million adolescents died in 2015. Road traffic accidents were the cause of one in 10 of these deaths.
Road accidents killed 145 people aged 10-19 in Britain in 2015, and left 3,166 more seriously injured.
One death on the roads is one too many. We regularly see how devastating the impact is on family and loved ones when a young person in particular is killed or seriously injured.
Vulnerable Road Users at Greatest Risk
It is really notable how the top cause of these accidents involve cyclists and pedestrians.
Clearly, cycling would be considerably safer if cyclists were segregated from other traffic, but this will take years to achieve. However, changes to the law to improve the legal position of vulnerable road users with a strict or presumed liability system could be achieved relatively quickly with legislation which would put the UK in line with its European counterparts.
The presumed liability system recognises that the liability of one's actions should be proportionate to the degree of danger which they impose on other road users. In most European jurisdictions, an injured cyclist does not need to establish fault on the part of the motorist. The UK is one of only five countries in Europe, alongside Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Ireland, which have not adopted the presumed liability system.
The maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving is 14 years – but very rarely do we see maximum sentences imposed for motoring offences. How bad does it need to be?
The maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving is 14 years – but very rarely do we see maximum sentences imposed for motoring offences. How bad does it need to be? There could also be longer driving bans.
We recently reported that drivers responsible for the most serious speeding offences will face harsher penalties under new sentencing guidelines. Fines for motorists caught going above the speed limit will start from 150 per cent of an offender’s weekly income. The fine currently stands at 100 per cent.
It is clear that far more needs to be done to ensure our roads are safe for all users, not just cars, and that judges are given the power to deal with those who have caused such heartbreak more appropriately than at present.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for anyone who has sustained a head injury through no fault of their own. Call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll get back to you.
Ken Brough is a senior personal injury solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.