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Collision analysts would welcome more support

Wednesday 8th July 2015

Road collision analysts would welcome more support and recognition of the specialist work they undertake, and for it to be easier for them to interact with their peers and share best practice, according to a new survey.

The survey was developed by Road Safety GB in partnership with Road Safety Analysis (RSA), with grant funding provided by the DfT, as a scoping exercise to establish the needs of analysts. A report summarising the survey results, and detailing recommended actions, has been prepared by Road Safety Analysis.

Honor Byford, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “Road safety professionals, highways engineers, public health consultants and the police and fire services are all dependant on collision analysts for the data that informs their work.

“Their role and expertise is fundamental and, Road Safety GB believes, should be acknowledged as a specialist discipline.

“In order to understand the needs of analysts and get a handle on this diverse role, Road Safety GB and RSA created a survey to discover the different ways analysts approach their role and what support they would like.

“Without this fact-finding exercise, we are unable to determine the best ways to support analysts across the country.”

The survey, undertaken during May and June 2015, attracted 114 responses from local authority employees and a small number (circa 10% of total) working for national organisations including the RAC Foundation, Highways England and the Transport Research Laboratory.

The results show that while many respondents are confident in their analytical skills, there is a desire for further training and for sharing best practice.

The report details immediate actions including: creating a national register to make it easier for analysts to contact each other; creating a national network so that analysts can guide the next steps in this project; promoting the work and potential of analysts; and encouraging their managers and organisations to understand and support the role.

Interim measures include building and managing a private support forum for analysts (based on feedback from the network); and arranging a national analysts’ training seminar or conference to share best practice and provide specific training.

Longer-term plans include making connections with academic and research organisations, encouraging analysts to attend national conferences, and ensuring that relevant presentations are given; and developing training courses and accreditation where none currently exist.

Honor Byford added: “The report is very much hot off the press and we, along with colleagues at the DfT, RSA and those who completed the survey, will be considering the next steps in the coming weeks. We will publish regular updates via this newsfeed.”

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This is excellent news. Improving the quality of analysis was the reason I became involved in road safety. Analysts need 3 things:
1) data
2) methods
3) publicity

All 3 need attention, current data can have many errors and be difficult to obtain and getting the media interested in major new research can be difficult.

The RSGB idea to implement networking could be effective in addressing all 3 and subsequent training could really raise standards. I am sure that independent analysts may be interested in assisting this project.

Please keep me informed on this most excellent project.
Dave Finney, Slough

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