Cambridgeshire County Council’s road safety team has developed a new holistic approach to road safety which is up for approval at a committee meeting next week.
The latest figures show that 412 people were killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads between August 2016 and July 2017 – an increase of 19% from 2016 (347) and 44% from 2015 (286).
The council says factors including reduced funding, driver behaviour, changes to the way collisions are recorded and a lack of fear about being caught committing traffic offences have all contributed to the rise.
The proposed changes, to be discussed at a committee meeting on 13 March, include a new delivery model for road safety, a new methodology for assessing injury collision hotspots, and funding for a number of safety improvement schemes.
The proposed new ‘road safety hub’ centres on the safe system approach and the integration of road safety expertise across education and engineering, to provide one point of contact.
The hub will deliver a core function and offer services and expertise including child road safety education, investigating collision hotspots and safety auditing planned changes to roads.
Another recommendation includes a new process for the identification of high risk locations based on recorded injury collisions. At the moment a single ‘complex’ system is used to define a cluster site up to 1500m in length.
The new proposal would see a simplified process, looking at both localised cluster sites as well as whole routes. The new system is designed to highlight the road safety risk for specific routes and locations, which will inform the ‘prioritisation of available improvement funding’.
The council says that making these ‘key changes’ and ‘investing in road safety’ could save local health and social care services an estimated £5m.
Cllr Mathew Shuter, chair of the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, said: “We’re mindful about the sensitivities around road safety and the devastating consequences collisions can have on people’s lives.
“We take the current trends in the figures and the challenges related to reducing road casualties seriously, which is why we’re suggesting a distinct change in approach.
“These proposals outline a new model for road safety which will enhance the council’s ability to provide communities and other organisations with direct access to a range of road safety services as well as the potential for sharing services with others and the wider road safety partnership.”