The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTs) has drawn up a comprehensive list of road safety priorities. These priorities offer an interesting look at how small changes and taking advice from Europe and further afield could be the way to providing better and safer roads in the UK.
PACTs are planning to take their priorities with them to discuss all their points with the Government as well as other political parties, stakeholders and partners, all in the run up to the next General Election in May 2015. They believe as many as a third of a million people will be killed or seriously injured on our roads through road traffic accidents in the next two decades to 2030 unless the government do something. In monetary terms they judge this loss to be around £110 billion and that’s not to mention the human cost.
There has been a downward trend in accidents and injuries on the road but according to PACTS, without extensive changes, there will still be around 1000 deaths per year on the roads in 2030 due to road traffic accients. Here is a closer look at the twelve proposed priorities and some insight into how each would work.
1. Adopting a long-term vision for a safe transport system
A widely adopted vision for a transport system that will eventually be free from serious injury and death. Making it part of our culture will make it the norm, making dangers on the road minimal.
2. Set challenging national targets for road safety
PACTs want to set time-limited quantitative targets to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the road, including pedestrians and cyclists.
3. Lead by Example with Safe Travel Policies and Safe Transport Procurement Policies
To promote the safest forms of transport at all costs, including putting safer practices in place for road haulage, taxis and buses.
4. Adopt the Safe System for Road Management
PACTs have developed their own Safe System for the roads which they want the government to consider in depth.
5. Commissioning the independent Road Safety Management Capacity Review
A Road Safety Management Capacity Review is an internationally developed and highly valuable tool for helping the roads enter a new phase of better safety.
6. Improve general knowledge and understanding of collisions and accident victims
PACTs want to improve the reporting of transport-related casualties by hospitals, have more systematic and comprehensive systems of investigation and improving the presentation of road traffic accident and casualty data.
7. Improve Road Safety Network
PACTs want to see upgrades to the strategic and local road networks using their fully developed Safe System.
8. Adopt Single Summer Time
As an earlier blog post of ours discusses, PACTs want to see an end to us putting the clock back and the adoption of single summer time, limiting the number of collisions in those darker hours.
9. Improve Vehicle Safety
PACTs want to see improvements to the fitting of safety equipment within vehicles through supporting the EU legislation for mandatory fitting of proven vehicle safety technologies. They also want us to participate in the European new Car Assessment Programme.
10. Improve Standards for Road Users
They have a package of different proposals within this section including the introduction of the graduated driver licensing scheme, evaluating the value of telematics in driving, reducing the general drink-drive blood alcohol limit in line with Scotland and Europe and following up new drug driving legislation.
11. Review Medical Responses to Collisions and Trauma Care
In line with decreasing accidents in general, PACTs want to ensure that when they do occur the treatment is speedy, the best it can be and therefore fatalities will be reduced.
12. Play a role in an international development network
PACTs want the UK to play a key role in road traffic injury prevention around the world and share what works with us whilst learning from others.
Road traffic injury has become a worldwide issue and it’s something we all need to consider in depth. Organisations such as PACTs have dedicated considerable time and effort to moving the country forward and helping promote safer roads. The Government should take their time to look into PACTs suggestions for the benefit of us all.