TRL has secured funding to develop an intervention to discourage tailgating and is seeking local authorities to work with them on the project.
The funding has come from the Road Safety Trust to find a solution to an issue which TRL says causes ‘widespread concern’ among drivers.
DfT stats for 2014 show that tailgating, or close following, was a contributory factor in 7% of collisions and also makes drivers feel intimidated, while aggravating congestion.
44% of respondents to a survey by road safety charity Brake said that they are concerned about close-following ‘most times’ they drive on motorways. However, nearly 60% admitted to leaving less than the recommended two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front.
TRL says the pilot will focus on business drivers because they undertake high annual driving mileages and DfT stats suggest they are involved in a quarter of road traffic collisions.
To support the project, TRL and its sister company Transport & Travel Research Ltd (TTR) are looking for local authority partners to help recruit employers within their area and develop a package of behaviour change techniques to measure and influence attitudes towards close-following.
Marcus Jones, senior expert, sustainable mobility at TTR, said: “The project provides an excellent opportunity for road safety departments to not only help tackle tailgating on their road networks, but develop new tools they can use in the future.”
Robert Gifford, chief executive of the Road Safety Trust said: “This project tackles two important issues: close following which is of concern to many road users, and driving for work which poses increased risk to all drivers.
“I hope that the Trust’s support will help to develop a useful tool for employers as they take their role in managing this issue seriously.”
Local authorities that are interested in taking part in the pilot should contact Marcus Jones via email or on 01344 770552.