The Government must “put safety on roads on the same footing as safety in the air, sea or on rail”, according to the chairman of the Road Safety Foundation.
Lord Whitty made his comments earlier this week while launching a new report, Making Road Safety Pay, which makes seven key recommendations to “change the national focus on road safety over the next decade”.
The report is intended to “act as a platform for all road safety stakeholders to discuss and develop new practical measures that will set the UK on a track to achieving zero road deaths within the next decade”.
The report says the DfT should develop a 10-year ‘towards zero’ strategy for road deaths, and that the Government should pilot ‘Social Impact Bonds’ to finance new safety programmes.
Other proposals include: a zero rate Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) for drivers under the age of 25 years whose vehicles are fitted with a telematics unit; development of a National Older Driver Strategy; autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard on all new cars; minimum safety levels of 4-stars for the busiest national roads and minimum 3-stars for all other national roads by 2025; establishing an independent Road Safety Inspectorate; and raising the safety of local authority ‘A’ roads to a 3-star minimum level by 2030.
Lord Whitty said: “We can no longer accept sudden, violent road death as such a significant cause of premature loss of life.
“Advancing technology means safety on the roads can be designed as a single system. Modern car and road design properly implemented and working together is capable of protecting us at a level which was unimaginable just two decades ago.
“Designing and implementing this ‘safe road transport system’ means a new approach to sharing and accepting responsibility: drivers for driving safely; vehicle manufacturers for providing safe vehicles; and road authorities for providing safe road infrastructure.”