Fleet News

MPs demand more action to cut road deaths

MPs have demanded tougher action to tackle road safety calling it the “major public health problem of our age.”

The Commons Transport Committee called for lower speed limits and a tougher enforcement of drink-driving laws.

In its latest report it also suggested the government should use fiscal and financial incentives to encourage the take-up of safety technology – a move welcomed by the BVRLA.

“The number of deaths and injuries on our roads far outweighs the deaths and injuries in other transport modes or in other work-related accidents,” said committee chair Louise Ellman.

“We need to start seeing this not only as a collection of individual tragedies but also as the major public health problem of our age.”

However, while the report questioned the accuracy of government statistics, figures revealed this week show it is on target to achieve a 40% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured by 2010.

Provisional estimates show a 38% drop.

Figures for the 12 months to the end of June show a 13% reduction in road fatalities and a 7% fall in overall casualties compared to the same period last year.

The report estimated that between 750 and 1,000 deaths last year were linked to someone at work and criticised the fact that the vast majority were not examined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

“The HSE seems to have a dangerous blind-spot when it comes to monitoring work-related road safety standards,” said John Lewis, director general of the BVRLA.

“It has continually refused calls to include road-related incidents within its RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995) system for reporting workplace accidents and incidents.

"This omission may explain why some senior executives remain unaware of the issues and don’t put pressure on their fleet managers to take the necessary actions.”

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, added: “Employers need people, policies and procedures in place to manage occupational road risk as part of their mainstream health and safety policies.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We have always been clear that one death is one too many and so recognise that more can be done to make our roads safer.

"We welcome this report and will consider it fully as we prepare our post-2010 road safety strategy.”


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