A new inquiry into the Government’s handling of road safety, announced by the Transport Committee on 11 March, has been welcomed by stakeholders.
The number of road deaths has remained largely unchanged in recent years, following a reduction of more than 40% in the number of fatal road traffic collisions from 2007-2012.
As a result, the Transport Committee has launched an inquiry to scrutinise the Government’s approach to road safety and investigate which changes would be most effective at reducing the number and severity of road traffic collisions.
The Committee is calling for evidence, from road safety professionals and the public, on a number of questions including:
- How effective is the Government’s current approach to road safety? Are there any areas which could be improved?
- What interventions would be most effective at reducing the number and severity of road traffic accidents? What evidence is there on the effectiveness of these interventions?
- How can interventions to reduce the number and severity of road traffic accidents best be implemented?
What do the stakeholders say?
The inquiry has been welcomed by stakeholders, including Road Safety GB, who says it should bring out a range of contributions.
Steve Horton, Road Safety GB’s director of communications, said: “It’s commendable that the Transport Committee is interested in the current approach to road safety from Government and inviting comment from stakeholders should bring out a range of contributions from those who already know the challenges associated with trying to further reduce the number of life-ending and life–changing events on our roads.
“Road Safety GB, like many other organisations who currently demonstrate the commitment and passion to make our roads and road users as safer as possible, naturally will be contributing on behalf of its membership of road safety professionals.”
The RAC hopes the inquiry brings a renewed focus on road safety.
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, said: “Progress on reducing road casualties has stalled in recent years and it is clear we should be looking at ways to make our roads safer for drivers and all road users.
“Our research has shown worrying trends emerging such as more drivers using handheld mobile phones at the wheel and a sharp increase in those who self-report drink driving, while many are becoming increasingly concerned by the standard of driving by others at the wheel.
“We hope this inquiry brings a renewed focus on safety and new ideas to make everyone using our roads safer.”
Would more roads policing make the biggest difference?
The Transport Committee says it will identify which areas it will investigate in more detail once the deadline for written submissions has passed on 18 April.
The inquiry will without doubt receive a plethora of opinions – covering all of the four road safety ‘Es’ – ‘enforcement’, ‘education’, ‘engineering’ (roads and vehicles) and ‘evidence’.
A snap-survey carried out by the Road Safety GB Twitter team yesterday (12 March), which attracted 78 respondents, asked what area of road safety holds the most potential to deliver road casualty reductions.
42.5% of respondents said more roads policing, the same percentage who said improving road user behaviour. Making roads safer received 8% of the vote and improving vehicle safety 7%.
More policing will (hopefully ) lead to improved behaviour. Shared responsibility between motorists and vulnerable road users would, again hopefully, break resentment barriers and lead to the same.
— mike askew (@Blackbeltdrivin) March 12, 2019
MOST DEFINITELY BEHAVIOURS – 96% of young driver crashes are caused by poor attitudes and behaviours. I do not know the stat for older/experienced drivers but I can bet that it is almost equivalent. Pre-test training in these areas should be mandatory.
— Safer Young Drivers (@AccelerateDTS) March 12, 2019
It’s drivers that need policing, not roads. I’ve never had a road close pass nor left hook me, neither has a road mounted the pavement in front of me nor blocked my access to a safe crossing point.
— Matthew Snedker (@MatthewSnedker) March 12, 2019
Attitude is paramount to any task being undertaken safely.
If the attitude is flawed then carnage will continue.
Start with expectant parents and get them driving safely and as their kids grow they will see how mum and dad drive. It works, Ask any ADI about how their kids drive.
— Nickolas (@Vulcan01) March 12, 2019