Road Safety Analysis has published a new report which shows that “the way official figures are presented disguises how recent road safety performance differs significantly across the country”.
The DfT’s performance measures, known as Key Outcome Indicators, were first published in 2011 as part of the Strategic Framework for Road Safety. Road Safety Analysis says that concerns were raised at the time that these were not sufficiently reliable measures to show how performance was changing at a local level.
Road Safety Analysis’ new report, National Road Safety; Performance & Progress, looks at the level of risk experienced by road users around the country and measures the level of risk experienced by residents in every local authority nationwide. The report reveals that many authorities who appear to be doing well according to the official measures are performing poorly when the figures are examined in greater detail.
For example, 14 London boroughs feature in a list of the 20 poorest-performing local authorities in the country when compared to the national average. The districts that are witnessing the best improvement nationwide are spread across Scotland, Wales, the North West and the Midlands.
To assist those interested in seeing how a particular area of the country is performing, Road Safety Analysis has also published a set of interactive charts showing comparative performance by local authority.
Richard Owen, director of Road Safety Analysis, said: “At a time when the DfT is relying on public pressure or local politics to be the driving force for improvement in road safety, it is remarkable that almost 90% of those injured on the roads are ignored in the official local performance figures.
“Furthermore, the primary measure used by the DfT to assess risk rates does not appear to allow true, meaningful comparisons to be made on a nationwide basis.
“In order to avoid this pitfall, road safety professionals, service managers and council members (both in office and opposition) need to make reliable judgements on local performance. Therefore, high quality comparative performance data is the key requirement for policy makers and practitioners if they are to place local priorities in context.”