Call for more joined up thinking on road safety

May 27 2015  

Call for more joined up thinking on road safety
Lack of joined up road safety policy between different authorities could be hampering the UK’s chances of further reducing death and injury on highways, RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister has said.
 
A new interim report ‘Road Safety Since 2010’, released by the Foundation and PACTS (the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety), reveals that progress made in cutting casualties has varied dramatically across the UK over the past five years.
 
The report shows that, compared with the 2005-9 average, by 2013 there had been a 36% reduction in those killed and seriously injured (KSI) on London’s roads, while Wales and the rest of England experienced reductions of 15% and 19% respectively.
 
“Overall, many fewer people were killed and injured on the roads at the end of the last Westminster parliament than at the beginning,” said Professor Glaister. “But given the flattening out of casualty figures and a predicted increase in road traffic, it is important that national, regional and local governments review trends and share best practice to learn what is and what isn’t working.” 
 
The report also suggests that inconsistent casualty reduction figures across the UK might be caused by different authorities having varying levels of power, funding and political will to deal with KSIs.
 
For example in Northern Ireland, where road safety is a fully devolved matter, a 35% reduction in KSIs has been achieved while in Wales very few road safety powers are devolved.
 
Professor Glaister said: “Tens of millions of road users have a right to know that that their safety is regarded equally wherever in the UK they travel.”
 
He also called for more cross departmental interest in road safety within Westminster, and suggests that the loss of national targets for casualty reduction may have pushed road safety down the priority list.
 
(Photo: Highways England)

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