‘Urgent need to prioritise safety and sustainability’ – Brake

08.06 | 18 May 2018 | | 6 comments

Image: Highways England

Brake has called on Highways England to help expedite the creation of an independent Road Collision Investigation Branch.

In a new report published on 16 May, the road safety charity says there is an ‘urgent need for prioritisation of safety and sustainability on the strategic road network (SRN)’.

The report has been published ahead of the release of Highways England’s Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) -which outlines the Government agency’s plans for investment in England’s motorways and major roads between 2020 and 2025.

The Brake report makes 10 recommendations for RIS2, including a call to ‘radically increase’ funding specifically for safety and environmental purposes – including establishing an independent Road Collision Investigation Branch.

The report also says there must be increased funding for ‘comprehensive and specialist enforcement of the SRN’, through partnership work with, and investment in, enforcement agencies.

Brake is also calling RIS2 to: support vehicle technologies that advance safety and ultra-low emissions; prioritise the construction of safe infrastructure (with a focus on the most vulnerable); and enable Highways England to reduce care use.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “Roads investment decisions affect us all; every death on our roads is a preventable tragedy and the environmental impacts of roads reach far and wide.

“RIS2 is a huge opportunity to shift the dial on UK road safety and sustainability, with billions of pounds of investment to be allocated, so it is vital that the right choices are made.

“Brake wants to see safety and sustainability as equal first priorities for our strategic roads and we urge Highways England to listen and take on board the recommendations detailed in this important report.”


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    Unfortunately Pat, I’ve only experienced that on speed awareness courses and driver improvement courses where the instructors have had the opportunity to go into detail on collision avoidance techniques based on their own expertise, as and when necessary, and not simply be conduits for official messages. Some RSOs are more passionate on this subject than others admittedly, but may have limited scope for personal input or influence in the work of local road safety units’ campaigns.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    ….most of those I know in road safety education do draw on our own driving and riding expertise and experience.

    Also if you were to record that, as is often done, you end up with some prepared literature and videos. Not to say there isn’t room for more improvement though.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    Here’s an idea which may seem a bit off the wall – instead of investigating collisions that have happened, the authorities should listen to those drivers and riders who NEVER have collisions (and who do not even come close), analyse and understand their techniques and centre their subsequent interventions around them. For many drivers and riders, not colliding year-in, year-out, is not a coincidence nor is it luck – there is a method which the authorities (not to mention other motorised road users) should learn from. Those involved in road safety should, when engaging with the motorised road users, draw on their own driving and riding expertise and experience more, rather than rely on prepared literature, videos, Dft campaigns etc.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The independent Road Collision investigation branch seems like common sense. The railways take action after a serious incident.Deaths on the road are treated as inevitable.

    Paul Luton, Teddington
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    From the report: “countermeasures influencing behaviour of people could have prevented only 4% of the collisions”

    So much for behaviour change initiatives if even Brake thinks they aren’t going to do much good.

    Duncan MacKillop, Quinton
    Agree (7) | Disagree (0)

    Again, with a massive and glaring inconsistency in their argument, we cannot give any credibility to the Brake report. As we all (should) know by now, speed limits are simply *not* sustainable – all they can ever do is cap maximum speeds, and even if they get strict 24/7 enforcement they still fail to even deliver that in most cases. And even if we do manage to invent some kind of magical new speed limits which do have a positive and significant effect on traffic speeds, they still wouldn’t significantly influence road casualties because for that we need a way of ensuring and maintaining *appropriate* speeds and not just delivering some arbitrary *maximum* speed.

    Charles, England
    Agree (11) | Disagree (4)

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