The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has called on all political parties to commit to an overhaul of road safety in the next Parliament.
After a period of rapid decline, the number of road deaths has remained unchanged in statistical terms since 2011.
To assist a future government, PACTS is publishing three papers by experts on safer road users, safer roads and safer vehicles as part of its UK Road safety – Seizing the Opportunities project. These spell out the priorities and assess whether or not they are addressed in the current Government’s road safety strategy.
David Davies, executive director of the PACTS, said: “After a period in which road deaths fell rapidly, we have had a series of years of little or no change.
"The public want a future government to improve safety, on the major road network and in towns and villages.
"They want an end to dangerous driver behaviour, and the freedom to walk and cycle without fear of death or serious injury. These three papers provide the evidence on how and why it should be done.
“PACTS is calling on all political parties to commit to:
- A focus on safety for vulnerable road users;
- Effective action to tackle inappropriate speed and drink-driving – to include more use of technology where police numbers are stretched;
- Strong government support for the proposed changes to EU vehicle safety regulations;
- A renewed partnership between local authorities and government to deliver effective casualty reduction measures;
- Establishment of a UK road collision investigation body and an overhaul of how collision information is gathered and analysed.
“We need to raise our ambitions in the UK and start planning for a road system which does not tolerate death and serious injury as a routine occurrence. This is how rail, shipping and aviation operates. It is also now the objective of Highways England which runs the trunk road network.
"There is currently a considerable focus on premature deaths from air pollution. We should remember deaths from road collisions are still the biggest killer of young people and the biggest risk to most of us in our daily lives. We need to bring together the agendas for safer and healthier cities.”
The three papers are:
Safer Road Users by Tanya Fosdick, Dan Campsall and Richard Owen at Road Safety Analysis Ltd who have extensive experience of research, analysis and implementation of behaviour change, enforcement interventions;
Safer Roads by Tony Ciaburro and John Spencer, who have many years of senior experience of managing and designing local roads and road safety measures;
Safer Vehicles by Paul Fay, now an independent vehicle safety design expert following many years as Vehicle Safety Manager at Ford Motor Company.