Brake comments on announcement of new Road Safety Statement

News from Brake
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
 
The Department for Transport has today (Wednesday 13 June) announced plans for a refreshed road safety statement, with a 2 year action plan to address 4 priority user groups – young people, rural road users, motorcyclists and older vulnerable users [1]. This comes alongside publication of a progress report on the 2015 Road Safety Statement and the announcement of the successful bids for the Safer Roads Fund [2].
 
The announcements come in a week where the Prime Minister announced 2 new road safety projects: £350,000 innovation competition to provide police forces with the next generation of mobile breathalyser equipment, enabling swifter and more timely read-outs on drink-driving tests; and a £480,000 partnership between police forces and the RAC Foundation to trial an innovative approach to road collision investigation, carrying out more in-depth, qualitative analysis of the underlying causes of road safety incidents [3].
 
Commenting on the announcements, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
“The recent raft in road safety announcements is much welcomed and shows that the Government is taking the UK’s stalled progress in road safety seriously. Progress has undoubtedly been made on the road safety actions laid by the Government in 2015, however, we urge the new Road Safety Statement to be much, much bolder in its ambition.”
 
“The Government’s focus on the young and elderly, rural roads and motorcyclists is welcome but the fact is we already have proven policy solutions to many of these challenges. Young driver crashes will be significantly reduced by introducing a Graduated Driver Licensing System. The elderly’s fitness to drive can be monitored through improved communication between doctors and the DVLA and compulsory eyesight tests. And speed limits on rural roads are far too high and must be reduced. We urge the Government to introduce these proven policies as a matter of urgency, ensuring that needless and preventable deaths on our roads are eliminated.”
 
“The Government’s move to improve road collision investigation is long-awaited and much welcomed. However, it is vital that strengthened roads collision investigation provides evidence which actually influences policy change. Data for the sake of data is no use, it must lead to improvements in policy. We owe it to the thousands of people who are  affected by the tragedy of road death every year to ensure that their loved one’s deaths have not been in vain and that we learn from the mistakes of the past.”
 
[ENDS]
 
 
Notes to editors:
 
 
 
 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
 
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

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