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Road deaths are lowest recorded

FURTHER MEASURES to reduce road casualties - including new speed limits, driving standards and vehicle design - will be announced by the Government this autumn.

The commitment was made by the Transport minister Lord Whitty as 1998 accident figures showed that Britain now has the lowest rate of road deaths among industrialised countries.

Deaths on the roads fell 5 per cent last year to 3,421, the lowest since records began in 1926. But while deaths and serious injuries are falling in line with tough government targets, the number of slight injuries was still 16 per cent above the 1981-85 average. This makes the overall average for all injuries still 1 per cent above the 2000 target figure. More encouragingly, the number of children killed and seriously injured in road accidents fell 6 per cent last year.

Lord Whitty said a "comprehensive strategy to reduce casualties still further over the next 10 years" would be published later this year.