Government reluctant to ‘grasp the nettle’

15.55 | 1 November 2010 |

The DfT is reported to have refused to commit to publishing a road safety strategy or set further reduction targets to replace those that expire this year (TransportXtra).

The DfT outlined its position after the Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety (PACTS) and the RAC Foundation urged the Government to ‘grasp the nettle’ and publish a new strategy.

Britain has had a road casualty reduction target since 1987. The current 2010 targets were set in the last road safety strategy, published in 2000.

In a foreword to a new road safety report, Robert Gifford, PACTS executive director and Stephen Glaister, RAC Foundation director, said: “The change in political administration, a hard-line focus on reducing public spending and the end of the current road safety strategy has resulted in a natural pause in policy that is fast being filled with the perception that road safety is no longer a priority for national government.”

The DfT responded with the following statement from road safety minister Mike Penning: “Road safety is a key priority. We have already taken steps to develop drug screening technology to make it easier for the police to prosecute drug drivers and we are working on a campaign targeted at children in areas with high casualty rates to help youngsters be safer on the roads.

“We are currently reviewing all road safety policies as well as looking at the most effective way to measure progress. We are also engaging with local authorities and other stakeholders on the future road safety agenda and will make further announcements in the coming months.”

Click here to read the full TransportXtra report.


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