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North east car crash figures shock

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Safety campaigners are demanding action after North East roads saw the sharpest rise in people killed or seriously injured.

The number of deaths and casualties rose by 8% last year sparking calls for the Government to step in to help cut the death toll.

Research by the Department for Transport revealed 919 people were killed or seriously injured in 2012, compared to 854 the year before.

The rise has been steeper than other regions including Yorkshire and the Humber, which saw a 2% rise, and the North West where the serious or fatal accident rate fell, according to analysis by the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

Chief executive Simon Best said: “Additional funding should be available to areas with road safety problems.

“We need a national road safety body with full responsibility for monitoring progress and bringing together best practice so that everyone benefits from safer roads.”

South East England one of the worst regions last year made the biggest improvements with an 8% decrease in 2012.

This follows a 10% increase in 2010/2011.

However, London saw the number of people killed or seriously injured rise by 217 in 2012.

There was a 6% increase in accident rates for the most serious crashes in the South West, with 127 more people killed or seriously injured.

Small rises in the East of England cancelled out reductions in the West Midlands, meaning an overall increase of 2% in accident rates across England.

Joe Burns, a spokesman for road safety charity Brake, said: “Every crash that results in a death or serious injury on our roads is preventable, and these crashes have a devastating impact.

“It is vital local policy makers do everything in their power to work towards eliminating all deaths and serious injuries on roads.”

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “Britain’s roads are some of the safest in the world.

“We have given local councils £1.9bn to design and implement safer roads in their area, and made it easier to implement 20mph zones.

“We have also made it easier for police to take action on both irresponsible driving and drink driving, and are bringing forward new powers to tackle drug driving.”