National Conference – The Big Picture (opening session)

12.00 | 14 November 2017 | | 1 comment


Images and soundbites from ‘The Big Picture’ – the first session of the 2017 National Road Safety Conference.

About the session
A series of presentations from national road safety stakeholder organisations, outlining their priorities, campaigns and initiatives for 2018 and beyond.

The speakers:

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14.00 – Michael McDonnell, director, Road Safety Scotland

Michael McDonnell began his career as a primary school teacher before gaining a Diploma in Theology and a Degree in Divinity. His career in road safety began as a local road safety officer with Strathclyde Regional Council before joining RoSPA as road safety manager (Scotland).

Michael was the longest serving member of the Scottish Road Safety Campaign (SRSC) before taking up the post of director in 2004. One of his early contributions to the new role was to change the name of the organisation from the Scottish Road Safety Campaign to Road Safety Scotland in 2005.

Presentation: Scotland – the State of the Nation (from a road safety point of view)

191 people died on Scotland’s roads in 2015 (up from 168 the previous year)

Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020

  • Published in 2009
  • Vision Zero
  • Eight Priorities
  • 96 Commitments
  • Four targets
  • ‘Everyone’s responsibility’ (but not everyone sees it as their job)

 Vision Zero
“A steady reduction in the numbers of those killed and those seriously injured, with the ultimate vision of a future where no-one is killed on Scotland’s roads and the injury rate is much reduced.”


  • Leadership
  • Sharing intelligence & good practice
  • Children
  • Drivers aged 17-25yrs
  • Rural roads
  • Drink drive
  • Seat belts
  • Speed

‘We persisted in using targets because research shows countries that have targets achieve better casualty reductions’

Framework – mid-term review

  • Is the Framework still fit for purpose?
  • What has moved on?
  • Are we on course to meet the targets?
  • Do we need to re-prioritise?

Framework – review output

  • Framework IS still fit for purpose, but…..
  • Publish high-level delivery plan to 2020
  • Adopt ‘Safe Systems’ approach
  • Set outcomes and indicators
  • Continue partnership working to 2020
  • Prioritise activity to achieve greatest impact

Three (new) priority focus areas identified

  • Speed and Motorcyclists identified as a main priority
  • Pre-, Young, and Older Drivers
  • Vulnerable Road Users (Pedestrians and Cyclists)

Motorcyclists often responsible for their own downfall and therefore not vulnerable road users


  • Things are improving
  • The improvements are significant
  • This is clear both over the long and medium term
  • Year-on-year fluctuations require nuanced consideration – TREND


  • Compared to England & Wales, the 2016 rates were 29% higher (killed), 18% lower (serious) and 31% lower (all severities)
  • Scotland’s overall road death rate of 35 per million population was the sixth out of the 38 countries surveyed

‘It is better to have something to do than to have to do something’

It is important to have a curriculum the meets the needs of teachers etc

JRSO scheme is very popular and gives us road safety champions

Young drivers – they know they in an at risk group – using a crash to try and change behaviour is not a good idea

We need to be researching and evaluating what we do to ensure it is fit for purpose

I think the crash is a bad place to start – we need to move away from the graphic, gory approach

I still think the word accident is the best single descriptive word (rather than crash or collision)

13.45 – Dawn Lauder, head of marketing and communications, DfT

Dawn Lauder leads the marketing team at the Department for Transport, responsible for the THINK! road safety campaign. This is her second stint in the team, having started her Government communications career at DFT in 2002.

Dawn has more than 15 years of social marketing experience, having worked on national behavioural change campaigns in a number of government departments, including DWP, Defra and DECC.

Presentation: Making THINK! more relevant at moments that matter (to young drivers)

  • THINK! is respected, thought provoking, helpful – a trusted brand
  • Road safety advertising is less noticed overall
  • We know who we should target: 17-24 year olds

With injuries declining at a slower rate and deaths starting to plateau, how can THINK! continue to cut through and have relevance and visibility?

17-24 year olds – the audience at the heart of this challenge

Distinctive in road safety behaviour

  • 2.2 times more likely than 25-35s to cause a casualty on the roads
  • Account for 62% of drink-drive fatalities
  • Cause 5 times more KSIs than the average driver

Distinctive in media consumption

  • Value peer approval more than any other demographic
  • Have seen the most rapid decline in live TV consumption, 27% over 2 years.

Spheres of influence

  • Peers
  • Influencers
  • Music artists
  • Brands

‘We need to use these spheres of influence in order to get to the audience’

‘How can we be visible – we need to create content our audience will seek out’

New role for THINK! – ‘We THINK! together’

  • Adopt a collaborative model to encourage behaviour change
  • Enable peer groups to shift behaviours and attitudes in drivers

We are deploying a ‘continuous engagement plan’ – integrating our content

It’s about tapping into film, movies, gaming – ‘moments that matter’

After 50 years of groundbreaking campaigns it’s time for THINK! to move on

We’ve come a long way but there’s still much more to do – and we can’t do it alone – thanks for your support.

13.35 – Gareth Llewellyn, Chief Executive Officer, DVSA

Gareth Llewellyn joined DVSA in March 2016 having spent most of his career in the private sector.

He has held global executive roles with National Grid and Anglo American, winning a number of awards for his work on responsible business practices and safety. As a non-executive director, Gareth floated the waste management company Biffa plc and established the DfT’s Renewable Fuels Agency.

Presentation: Helping you stay safe on Britain’s roads

DVSA vision: safer drivers, safer vehicles, safer journeys for all

‘It’s our job to protect the whole of society, not just people in vehicles’

‘Around 36% of vehicles fail first time – which means they were unsafe on the roads’

‘Bringing another 33,000 HGVs into annual checks that were not previously checked’

Helping you through a lifetime of safe driving through:

  • Better information and training for drivers
  • How to find the best driving instructor for them
  • Want to try and let candidates experience the test centre before their test

Raising driving standards:

  • Biggest change to the driving test in a decade
  • Some controversy about elements of the new test

674,000 HGv driving tests
2.2m theory tests
2m practical driving tests

What’s ahead?

  • New theory test options – the ability to ‘immerse’ candidates by digitising the theory test
  • Changes to driving test
  • Deliver effective road safety messaging, relevant to the individual’s driving phase
  • Increase the take up of post-test motorcycle training
  • Accredit, endorse or recognise road safety initiatives, education and training interventions that align with DVSA’s national standards

13.25 – Jesse Norman MP, road safety minister

Jesse Norman was elected as the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire in May 2010 and was appointed parliamentary under secretary of state for the Department for Transport in June 2017.

As parliamentary under secretary of state for roads, local transport and devolution, Mr Norman’s responsibilities include: road safety, cycling and walking policy, Highways England and strategic roads, local roads policy and funding, motoring agencies, transport technology (including digital), transport and the environment, buses and road freight.

Presentation: Opening keynote address (video presentation)

‘Road safety is one of the most important priorities for the DfT and Government’

‘I want every driver to think of themselves as a road safety activist’

‘Road safety policy must reflect the needs of other road users (as well as drivers)’

‘We want drivers, cyclists and pedestrians using the road in a mutually respectful manner’

‘We will shortly be launching a new review of cycle safety.

‘The review will look at whether a new offence should be introduced…causing death or inflicting injury on a bicycle…similar to the death by dangerous driving law’

‘The review will also look at wider improvements with regard to cyclists’ safety’

‘First phase of review will be completed early 2018, and followed by a more ‘wide angle’ consultation with stakeholders’

13.15 – Sonya Hurt, chair, Alan Kennedy, business and operations manager (Road Safety GB)

Sonya Hurt became chair of Road Safety GB at the organisation’s AGM on 15 November 2016. She joined Nottinghamshire County Council more than 23 years ago specialising in the fields of road safety, safety engineering, traffic management and highway design.

Alan Kennedy was appointed to the post of business and operations manager for Road Safety GB in March 2014. Alan has day-to-day responsibility for the activities of Road Safety GB and its academic and training arm the Road Safety GB Academy

Presentation: Road Safety GB & Road Safety GB Academy

Sonya Hurt
Are we seeing sufficient interest in improving the behaviour of road users?

We have experienced another year of little or no investment in road safety

We must consider the road user in everything we do, and be evidence-led

Road Safety GB Board is working hard to improve the organisation and work towards its charitable objectives.

We must take actions to improve the organisation – we cannot stand still.

We have made very good progress in my first year as chair – hard work but incredibly worthwhile.

In my second year I want to see greater partnership working and us all working together for the right reasons – and to see casualty numbers fall

Alan Kennedy
Two announcements to make today.

First – accreditation and qualifications.

RSGB Academy will end its association with City & Guilds

Following membership consultation, Road Safety GB will develop its own accreditation/qualifications

Certification from today onwards all certificates will be from the Road Safety GB Academy

Second announcement – Business Transformation Two (BT2)

Our current reserve is not enough to do anything worthwhile with

Proposal to membership to form new company – Road Safety GB International

Will commence trading immediately – hope to be delivering courses soon in Jordan. 

Interest from Belgium, Spain, Hong Kong and a host of African countries

Set up a team of international ambassadors to help form overseas partnerships

Exciting times – not for the faint hearted.

Need to mention the people behind the scenes who help make this happen – thank you to you all. 

Category: Events, RSGB news.


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    A bit concerned by Mr Llewelyn of DVSA’s (to me) illogical conclusion that because “Around 36% of vehicles fail first time – (which means) they were unsafe on the roads” Well, not really. On the other hand, I’d go along with 36% of drivers probably being unsafe on the roads.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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