Fleet News

Minister calls for unity on accident prevention

A JOINED-UP approach involving car manufacturers and safety groups is needed to cut casualties on Britain’s roads, according to Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman.

He stressed that road deaths would not be reduced by having ‘a single central organisation having all the ideas, and telling others what to do’.

Speaking at a Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) national road safety conference in Blackpool, Ladyman said: ‘Our work is not about finding some new piece of technology, or some new traffic management systems that’s going to slash road deaths by 50% overnight.

‘It’s not about a single central organisation having all the ideas, and telling others what to do. It’s about involving everyone – Government, local authorities, charities, safety groups, police, car manufacturers and many others – and working towards shared goals.

‘It’s about gradual, continuous improvement at all levels. Because we already have high road safety standards – among the best in the world.’

Ladyman also stressed that the Government was committed to the use of speed cameras. He told delegates: ‘We’ve never been in doubt about the crucial role that cameras play in helping to cut road deaths and injuries. Just before Christmas, a major independent four-year report into the effectiveness of more than 4,000 camera sites nationwide was published. It showed that the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit at fixed camera sites had fallen by 70%.

‘Even after allowing for the general trend in improving road safety, there was still a 22% drop in personal injury collisions, and a 42% fall in the number of people killed or seriously injured at camera sites.’

Ladyman said the Government was committed to ending the current ‘ring-fencing’ of funding for safety cameras, giving more control to local authorities, police and other road safety agencies.

He added: ‘From April next year, safety cameras and other road safety measures will be funded in the same way – so ensuring a level playing field.

‘The Department for Transport is boosting money made available for road safety in England by £110 million a year up to 2010/11. The changes will allow authorities to pursue whichever agreed mix of road safety measures they think will make the greatest contribution to reducing road casualties.’

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