The newly formed Transport Safety Commission is calling for evidence to guide its first inquiry under the banner “UK Travel Safety: Who is Responsible?”
The Transport Safety Commission comprises 16 members drawn from the UK Parliament and from the air, rail and road safety professions and related sectors.
In October 2008, the House of Commons Transport Select Committee called for the establishment of ‘an authoritative and independent road safety commission’. The Government did not take up the recommendation, but PACTS took up the challenge and announced the formation of the Commission in March 2013.
The Commission’s first inquiry will set out to examine the legal framework and institutional responsibilities for transport safety, looking at international good practice, to assess if lessons identified can be transferred from one mode to another.
Since most UK transport deaths and injuries occur on the road network, recommendations are expected to focus on the institutional arrangements for road safety. The Commission may consider implications for rail and air safety in its inquiry.
Sir Peter Bottomley, MP, co-chair of the Commission, said: “To reduce the toll of death and injury on our roads, it is vital to have clear lines of responsibility and effective institutional arrangements.
“The Transport Safety Commission combines Parliamentarians and independent transport safety experts. This inquiry will raise the profile of transport safety at Westminster as we all start to think about the priorities for future government.”
Professor Stephen Glaister, the Commission’s other co-chair, said: “This is an opportunity for a long-overdue, independent review of how we manage transport safety.
“Whilst we can be proud of past improvements there remain many opportunities to avoid serious injuries and deaths. We should not presume that our safety laws and institutions cannot be improved and we must recognise the new difficulties stemming from the financial stringency faced by many public bodies.
“I hope we will be able to make acceptable and affordable recommendations that will save lives.”
Click here for guidelines on submitting written evidence, the deadline for which is 15 April.
The Commission will also invite selected individuals and organisations to give oral evidence, and intends to report by the end of the year.