A number of UK road safety professionals, including Road Safety GB’s Jeremy Phillips, have been in New Zealand this week to participate in an important international conference.
The International Safer Roads Conference (21-24 May) is a triennial event that provides a forum for infrastructure owners, practitioners and industry experts worldwide to share ideas, experience and latest technological developments.
The 2017 conference, the fifth running of the event, took place in Auckland and covered a variety of topics including road infrastructure, surfaces and design. The event also set out to build on previous conferences, looking at gains made in reducing road trauma.
Jeremy Phillips (pictured below) attended the conference in his capacity as research director for Road Safety GB – providing delegates from New Zealand, Australia, the USA and other countries with an insight into the work Road Safety GB is undertaking to build professional capacity in the UK.
Delegates in the ‘People’ stream of the conference heard about the success of the Road Safety GB Academy and how the Road Safety Practitioner Foundation Course is helping to create a shift in focus towards using evidence in designing and delivering road safety interventions.
The Conference used the ‘Safer Systems’ model as an underlying theme, and Jeremy emphasised the need to address any lag between the delivery expectations this model places on practitioners and their ability to deliver on those expectations.
There was a call to delegates to follow the maxim ‘first, do no harm’ when carrying out their work in road safety, and to think carefully about what the data and intelligence tells us before jumping in and delivering well-meaning, but not necessarily effective schemes.
Jeremy also covered the specific efforts underway in the UK to support data analysts working in road safety – citing Road Safety GB’s two national analyst conferences; the recently relaunched Road Safety GB Analysts’ Network; the planned training programme arising from the 2017 analysts’ conference and Road Saftey GB’s intention to consult on a set of national guidelines for analysts in early 2018.
Other UK road safety professionals to present at the International Safer Roads Conference included Road Safety Analysis’ Richard Owen and Dan Campsall.
Richard Owen presented as part of the ‘cycling’ session on day two, addressing the ‘safety in numbers’ theory. Richard’s paper followed on from work unveiled by George Uraschi at the 2016 National Road Safety Conference, looking at the relationship between numbers of cyclists and collision and casualty rates.
Dan Campsall’s presentation, ‘Young & Mobile’, formed part of the ‘people’ session on day three and drew on research from the DriveStart scheme delivered in Berkshire, where a ‘pioneering’ approach to behaviour change has been used to design a young driver programme.
Dan Campsall will deliver a similar presentation on this topic at the 2017 National Road Safety Conference in November.