Why have road casualties halved in Surrey?

12.00 | 2 October 2012 | | 2 comments

A joint presentation at the National Road Safety Conference 2012 will look at why the number of casualties on Surrey’s roads has halved in the past four years.

The presentation will be delivered by Iain Reeve, assistant director of economy, transport and planning at Surrey County Council, and Louise Lloyd, chartered statistician at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

Their presentation, ‘The link between casualties and demographic data – and the importance of vehicle design’, will feature in the ‘Getting results & new ways of working’ session on the afternoon of Wednesday 14 November.

Iain Reeve’s career includes spells at the Department for Transport and the Government Office for the South East where he chaired multi-modal studies and helped local authorities prepare local transport plans.

He was head of transport policy at Hampshire County Council before joining Surrey County Council five years ago, first as head of transport and more recently as assistant director of economy, transport and planning.

Louise Lloyd is a chartered statistician based in TRL’s road safety department. She is experienced in experimental design, inference and Bayesian modelling with applications across all areas of transport.

Her work has included evaluating the effectiveness of speed indicator devices; assessing the influence of traffic police enforcement on road user behaviour; monitoring mobile phone and seatbelt use; and evaluating the effect of the recession on accident numbers.

The National Road Safety Conference is being hosted by Road Safety GB London Region at the Britannia International Hotel, Canary Wharf, 14-15 November. The event is co-sponsored by Colas, RedSpeed International, Alcolock UK and AA DriveTech.

The cost of attending the two-day conference starts at £85 plus VAT per day for day delegates and £295 plus VAT for residential delegates (Road Safety GB members). More than 190 people have currently registered to attend.

Click here for general information about the event, click here for delegate registration, and click here for information about the exhibition that runs alongside the conference.


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    I completely agree with Iris’s comments that, ‘ It is much more to do with drivers’ state of mind and attitude to risk’. So much of road safety deals with suppression of behaviour but not changing the underlying mind-set, which is the real issue. Increase their threat perception (which mostly is very low) and you automatically lower the risk profile. It’s like a see-saw. But nothing is going to really happen until the average road user takes ownership of their own safety. And the only way the average Joe is going to do that is when they become accountable for their behaviour. Start putting out the message that if, as a driver, you are involved in a crash you have some responsibility for being there. Only then will you see real changes. The problem is getting this through to politicians and ‘political’ policy makers and the like. Now that would be real inroads (sic!) into road safety.

    Nigel Albright
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    Sounds promising, especially as the list of factors affecting accident rates does not including speeding, but does include other factors likely to be much more significant.

    I am pleased in particular to see the effects of the recession mentioned, as Al Gullon of Ottawa has demonstrated that there is a close relationship in many countries between the state of the economy and fatality trends, far more so that the relatively minor traffic volume changes would account for. It is much more to do with drivers’ state of mind and attitude to risk.

    The clearest example here is between fatality trends in the unprecedented boom from 1993 and the near-unprecedented bust since 2007/8.

    I can provide more information on this on request.

    Idris Francis Petersfield
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