Road Safety Trust Funds Pilot Scheme to Reduce Tailgating

July 12, 2016

Transport and Travel Research Ltd and their parent company TRL have announced they have received funding to carry out a pilot scheme. The scheme will be focused on reducing tailgating by business drivers. The funding has been provided by the Road Safety Trust, an organisation which is focused on funding research to support the reduction of road casualties.

Transport and Travel Research are now looking to find local authority partners. They need different local authorities to act as hosts for their schemes in their chosen test area. Tailgating has been a real issue for decades. It is a widespread concern for drivers across roads in the UK. Tailgating simply means close following and according to the Department for Transport’s it was a contributory factor in 7% of all collisions in 2014.

Further research taken from Brake the road safety charity found that 44% of all the drivers they questioned were concerned about tailgating most of the time when travelling on motorways. However, 60% of those questioned admitted to leaving less than the recommended space between themselves the vehicle in front. These contradictory statements make it easy to see why there is an issue. The new scheme will focus on business drivers. This is because they make up the core majority of drivers on the roads, with high annual driving mileages. They are also involved in a large number of road traffic collisions.

Speaking on behalf of the Road Safety Trust, who have funded the pilot, their Chief Executive, Robert Gifford commented: “This project tackles two important issues: close following which is of concern to many road users and driving for work which poses increased risk to all drivers.”


Practical Tailgating Interventions and Research

There will be a range of different elements to the pilot scheme. It may incorporate practical interventions including education and enforcement. It may also incorporate engineered approaches to changing the way tailgating is handled. There is hope that new technologies may be developed or new road safety processes to be put in place.

The next stage of the process is for the pilot scheme organisers to find local authority partners. Once they are confirmed the practical stages of the project can be put in place.

Tailgating has been described as a habit which is unique to dodgy and dangerous drivers. However, it can also be accidental and it can be due to specific mind sets and situations such as running late. When it comes to it, the reason doesn’t matter, if tailgating leads to an accident then you are culpable.

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