New road safety strategy needed
Road safety organisations call for immediate government action on road safety
The government is being urged to upgrade and improve road safety policies.
The call comes from a wide alliance of road safety organisations. In a far reaching report they have published they call on the Government to launch a ‘robust and far-reaching’ strategy. This must address safe and healthy mobility as well as preventing road death and serious injuries.
The Safe Roads for All report proposes action on roads, vehicles and drivers. Alongside this they are calling for better road victim support.
Government must adopt a ‘long-term, ethical goal’ of zero deaths and serious injuries says the group. A target of a 50% reduction in deaths and serious injuries in crashes by 2030 is key.
The report also calls for the Government to:
- Upgrade roads to reduce risk and provide facilities to support healthier travel choices for young and old alike.
- Prioritise traffic-free space for people cycling and walking that also connects to good public transport, as well as 20mph limits in urban areas
- Improve measures that protect people in vehicles, such as crash barriers and junction design
- Make vehicle safety and emission standards ‘world-leading’
- Help drivers to be safe, through measures such as phased driver licensing and a lowered drink drive limit
- Help road victims, through increased funding for the National Road Victim Service, which supports bereaved and injured families.
Establishing two new bodies is central to the conclusions of the report:
- A Road Collision Investigation and Safety Standards Agency, to investigate crashes and inform and develop standards
- And a Road Safety Board to set targets and direct actions for the DfT, local authorities and other agencies.
Improvements for all
Dr Suzy Charman, executive director of the Road Safety Foundation and co-author of the report, said: “Safe Roads for All is about providing roads and streets that meet the needs of everyone in society: young children on the school run; hauliers moving goods; commuters getting to work; and older adults engaging with their communities.
“It is so important that people are safe and feel safe so that we can all be better connected and enjoy the benefits of healthy and active travel.
“This alliance is calling on Government to be bold and adopt a long-term vision for safe and healthy mobility that moves us away from the status quo and drives us towards a vision of roads and streets free from death and serious injury – making road travel as safe as travel by rail and air.
“To get there, greater funding will be needed for road authorities (national and local), where the case for investment in safer road infrastructure really stacks up.”