Local road professionals call for reinstated safety targets

January 28 2015  

Local road professionals call for reinstated safety targets

National road safety targets should be reintroduced by Government as a matter of priority, local authority professionals told a conference in London on Monday.

Devon County Council sustainable and safer travel team manager Jeremy Phillips said he “mourned the loss of national targets”, which he pointed out had helped authorities to make dramatic progress regarding casualty reduction in years past.

The coalition Government phased out over arching national road safety targets in 2011 as part of its strategic framework for road safety. But the Department for Transport’s new Road Investment Strategy for 2015-2019 introduced a target for a 40% reduction in those killed and seriously injured on the strategic road network over the next five years.

Mr Phillips expressed concern that if authorities do not come up with their own regional targets to compensate for the lack of national ones, they could fall behind in terms of progress made.

Waltham Forest Borough Council senior transport planner Charlotte May added that targets help to focus authorities on improving road safety, and would welcome their reintroduction.

Both were speaking at the ‘Road Safety – Reducing Casualties through Education, Engineering and Enforcement’ conference, organised by Capita. It featured a talk from Transport Minister John Hayes. He said he expects technological advancement to drive road safety improvements, adding that public policy needs to be sufficiently flexible to anticipate these innovations.

Transport for London managing director of surface transport Leon Daniels also spoke at the event. He brought up some of the road safety issues relating to driverless cars, and questioned how likely the public will be to accept casualties caused by autonomous vehicles.

Photo: Jim Nix

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