2 April 2017
From the section UK
Prosecution and conviction rates for drivers who cause fatal road crashes are lower than they were five years ago, new figures show.
Data shared with 5 live Investigates by the charity RoadPeace reveal a 23% drop in prosecutions in England and Wales in the five years to 2015.
However, between 2014 and 2015 there was an increase in prosecutions and convictions.
The former went up from 402 to 414 and the latter from 312 to 321.
This is despite the fact the number of fatal collisions went down from 1,480 to 1,464 in that period, meaning that the proportion of those that led to court action is also on the rise.
But all of the figures are lower than they were in 2010.
The charity RoadPeace points out that the number of road officers in England and Wales fell by nearly 40% from 7,100 in 2005 to 4,350 in 2014.
It believes police are reluctant to investigate fatal collisions.
The Department for Transport said: “Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and in 2015 we had the second lowest total of road fatalities on record.
“We are determined to do more and we’ve recently announced tougher penalties for those caught using a mobile phone while driving.
“We have also tightened the law to make it easier to prosecute drink-drivers and drug-drivers.”
Five people die on the UK’s roads in the UK every day but campaigners say these incidents are often seen as unfortunate accidents and prosecutions are few and far between.