Road safety action plan to cut road deaths and injuries
- government sets out a major package of measures to reduce the number of people killed and injured on roads
- action plan to improve safety for people at every stage of life – from infants in car seats to those with years of driving experience
- increased penalties for failing to wear a seatbelt one of seventy-four measures being considered
In a statement released jointly by the DfT, the DVSA, Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis MP and Transport Secretary The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, the government sets out a package of measures designed to reduce the number of people killed an injured ion the roads.
The range of measures is designed to improve road safety for all age ranges, from infants to experienced drivers.
Road accident figures record that in 2017, 27% of road deaths involved people that were not wearing a seatbelt, meaning one in four car accident deaths could have been prevented had those involved been complying with the law.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but we are not complacent and continue to look at how we can make them safer.
Today’s action plan is a key milestone in our road safety work and sets out the important steps we are taking to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.
The Department for Transport is also considering the report from the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) on seatbelt use. This report analyses which drivers and passengers are least likely to wear seatbelts, what prompts their behaviour and which interventions would be best to reduce the number of casualties.
Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis said:
Far too many people are not wearing a seatbelt while travelling in a car, needlessly putting their lives at risk.
Increasing penalties for people who disregard the simplest of way of protecting themselves is just one of a long list of actions this government is taking to help keep people safe on our roads.”
For children, the action plan includes a £225,000 grant to Good Egg Safety (a car seat buying and fitting guide website) to deliver a nationally-accredited safety training programme for retailers to help parents correctly fit baby and child seats. Research showed that 70% of parents said they didn’t know how to properly install seats.
Research will be commissioned into whether mobile phone use among young pedestrians leads to an increased risk of road accident.
In other measures aimed at young adults, learner drivers will be encouraged to broaden their experience by using more rural roads and driving at night before taking their test.
Further research also will be undertaken to look at the benefits of Graduated Driving Licencing on road safety.
The government is also investigating whether alcolocks – devices which measure the alcohol in a driver’s breath and stop a vehicle from starting if that level is too high – can reduce drink-driving re-offending as part of rehabilitation programmes in the UK. PACTS has been given £50,000 to review drink driving trends and interventions, which will be completed early next year.
In other road safety measures, the government is currently consulting on banning tyres aged 10 years and older from buses, coaches, minibuses and lorries. If proposals are supported, new laws could be introduced later this year, ready to come into force early 2020.
Road Collision Investigation
A Road Collision Investigation project with the RAC Foundation is also ongoing. This is examining the cause of crashes and if there is a business case for a Road Collision Investigation Branch, which would specialise in learning lessons from serious road accidents.
At MOT Testing & Workshop Magazine we have advocated such a policy for many years, as there is currently no official policy of recording of all contributory factors which may be involved in accidents which cause fatalities or serious injuries. For example, if a fatal accident is caused by a driver who is found to be drunk at the time of the accident, further investigation into any mechanical defects of the vehicles involved is not necessarily carried out. Mechanical defects as a contributory factor to road accidents may therefore be under-reported.