ROAD deaths in West Yorkshire rose to their highest level for three years in 2004.
The total number of fatalities on West Yorkshire roads jumped by more than 13% to 116.
In 2003, the number of deaths was 102.
But serious injuries on the roads have reached their lowest figures for a decade, with 1,099 people being treated after crashes. This compares with 1,291 in 1997.
The figures, released by the West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership, show a mixed record on improving road safety.
The group has added 46 speed cameras to county roads this year, taking the total to 269.
A request for more cameras is being considered by the Government's Transport Department.
The partnership is made up of the five West Yorkshire metropolitan councils, along with the police, strategic health authority, magistrates' court service and the Government's Highways Agency.
Its chairman, Steve Thornton, said: "You can't look at it on deaths alone.
"What happens is that injuries increase in line with increasing traffic, unless you do something about it."
Mr Thornton said the partnership had numerous ideas to try and reduce casualty figures, with speed cameras just one scheme.
He added: "The roads the cameras are on have a history of accidents.
"The cameras are on 200 roads and there are 50,000 roads in West Yorkshire. That's how to look at it.
"Anything that reduces speed also reduces conflict and contributes to making roads safer.
"If we can bring down speed we can bring down the number of people killed and injured on the roads."
But a spokesman for the Association of British Drivers criticised the use of cameras. He said groups such as the partnership used false figures.
He added: "All the cameras are doing is distracting us from the real problems of aggressive and reckless drivers and drink-driving.
"These real menaces are effectively getting away with murder, because as the number of speed cameras increases the number of police traffic patrols decreases."