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Transport Committee launches inquiry into Government’s road safety strategy

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The Transport Committee is launching an inquiry to scrutinise the Government’s approach to road safety, which was last set out in its 2015 road safety statement.

The inquiry will investigate which changes would be most effective at reducing the number and severity of road traffic accidents.

Despite a reduction of more than 40% percent in the number of fatal road traffic accidents from 2007-2012, there has been no reduction over the last five years.

Launching the inquiry, chair of the Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said: “In 2017, almost 1800 people died in road traffic accidents on the UK’s roads. While there are far fewer fatalities than there were in 2007, that figure is still too high, and hasn’t fallen at all in the last five years.

“We want to know what should be done to bring down the number of accidents.  We are keen to hear from everyone who feels our roads could be safer and has ideas on how to make it happen. 

“Are you a road safety campaigner or a road user group? A local authority? Do you run a business which employs drivers? Or do you see your children off to school with concerns about their journey? We want to know what you think. Tell us how to make our roads safer. This could be anything from the use of technology to make cars and roads safer, to road safety around schools. Your input will help us to decide which issues we will investigate in more detail.”

The Committee is calling for evidence on the following questions:

  • How effective is the Government’s current approach to road safety?
  • Are there any areas where the Government’s current approach to road safety could be improved?
  • What interventions would be most effective at reducing the number and severity of road traffic accidents?
  • What evidence is there on the effectiveness of these interventions?
  • How can interventions to reduce the number and severity of road traffic accidents best be implemented?

Once the deadline for written submissions had passed, the Committee will identify which areas it will investigate in more detail.

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “We welcome the announcement that the Transport Committee will set up an inquiry into road safety following a stalling of the decline in fatal crashes on our roads over the last five years.

“Policy makers need to ensure they take a holistic approach to road safety and look at the entire picture; taking into account the safety of our roads, the safety of our vehicles and the behaviour and education of drivers. In addition, the police need to be properly resourced to enforce the laws we already have that are designed to make our roads safer.

“I hope the inquiry sheds new light on the areas we need to most focus on to ensure our roads, vehicles and drivers are safely equipped for the future.”

The enquiry will welcome responses until April 18, 2019.

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  • rosco7 - 11/03/2019 12:32

    The theory is that the rise in distracted driving as a result of smartphone use is counteracting the improvements in safety as a result of better vehicles, and greater adoption of driving aids. But the problem is that the majority of distracted driving convictions come following a fatal or serious injury accident when the police will use forensic technology to determine if a smartphone was in use at the time. The roll out of undercover camera buses and lorries which video drivers in the act, is a practical way to improve conviction rates and send a clear message to those drivers. Also, why are there a shortage of public safety messages from government. Years past the TV was awash with them, Green Cross Code, seatbelts, drink driving etc.. It seems that these campaigns are much reduced. And surely this would be a relatively low cost way to get the message out there. Every journey I make, there are scores of people using smartphones whilst in motion. That this results in greater fatalities and serious injuries is obvious. But these people will never be convicted, because there are no police on the roads. As the police focus more on hate crimes, and claims of causing offence, the result is the UK roads are becoming a free for all. Unless a GATSO or ANPR camera can convict, the police are irrelevant in this fight.

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