Public health topics under the microscope at National Conference

12.00 | 4 October 2016 | | 1 comment

The line-up for the ‘Public Health’ session of the 2016 National Road Safety Conference is now complete with the addition of three new presentations covering older drivers, children and independent travel, and the value of ‘population level’ strategies to achieve the greatest public health gains.

These presentations will be delivered by John Plowman of the Older Driver Task Force, Kris Beuret and Heather Ward, and Adrian Davis of the University of the West of England.

John Plowman’s career spanned several government departments including Defence, the FCO, Environment and latterly Transport, where was head of road and vehicle safety, DOE/DfT regional director in the North West, and interim chair of the Driver and Vehicle Operator Group.

After leaving the Civil Service John Plowman joined the boards of PACTS, RoadSafe and the Road Safety Foundation, was chair of the London Sustainable Development Commission and most recently chair of the Older Drivers’ Task Force.

His presentation will explore the work of the Older Drivers’ Task Force, and its report ‘Supporting Safe Driving into Old Age’, which sets out a national older driver strategy.

Kris Beuret OBE and Heather Ward will jointly present the findings of a report published by the Independent Transport Commission and titled ‘Children and Independent Travel’.

The report raises the dilemmas between encouraging children to travel independently and concerns about road safety. It looks at the decline in unaccompanied journeys to school, the lack of strategic age-related intervention work and the trade-off between lower speeds and an increase in slight child casualties.

Kris Beuret is Director of the Social Research Associates consultancy which specialises in social aspects of transport. She has advised governments on strategic approaches to consultation with so called ‘hard to hear’ groups including children, minority ethnic groups and people with mobility and accessibility problems.

Heather Ward is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University College London (UCL) and an independent consultant. She has carried out road safety research for the EU, national and local governments, the OECD, UK charities and Trusts and research organisations in Australia.

Adrian Davis is a founding member of the Transport & Health Study Group (UK) whose work focuses on the health impacts of road transport and the application of science in selecting policies and practices to support health-enhancing travel behaviours.

Until earlier this year, Adrian was the UK’s only health and transport specialist funded by a Public Health Directorate (since 2008) and placed in a Transport Department – Bristol City Council. He led on the safe systems approach to road safety in the council.

His presentation will examine the application of the ‘Rose Theory’ – the value of population-level strategies to achieve most public health gain – in developing and implementing the city-wide 20mph programme in Bristol.

The other speakers and presentations in the ‘public health’ session, which features on day two of National Conference, are: Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire County Council and Dr Roderick Mackenzie, Cambridge University Hospitals whose joint presentation is titled ‘Public Health, Trauma and Road Safety: A Holistic Approach to Partnership Working’; and Nick Butler from Modeshift STARS who will discuss ‘safe and active travel awards for schools’.

National Road Safety Conference
The 2016 National Road Safety Conference is being hosted by Road Safety GB South West Region in Bristol on 15-16 November and is co-sponsored by Colas, Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK, Jacobs and Insure The Box.

270 people have already registered to attend the event and the final number is once again expected to be around 300. Anyone who has not yet booked but is planning to attend is advised to do so as soon as possible. 21 companies will participate in the exhibition which runs alongside the conference.

Click here to register to attend the conference or for more information contact Sally Bartrum on 01379 650112.



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    A good conference line up on public health & road safety. I’m expecting to hear of good ideas about working together practically that I don’t yet know about during these sessions.

    Pat, Wales
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