Every death and serious injury on the road is horrific and unacceptable, tearing apart families and destroying lives. These terrible tragedies are of epidemic proportions, in every town, every week.
Yet these devastating and costly casualties are preventable, and so we should not accept any number. Brake believes we should strive towards a vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries. This is the only humane aim.
We must also acknowledge that the traffic causing these tragedies is a major contributor to carbon emissions, and affects the well-being and health of communities. In working to tackle the carnage, we can also make our communities greener, healthier, happier places.
We should aspire to a world where governments, communities and companies have worked together to achieve zero road deaths and serious injuries, and streets that can be used without fear. This document imagines that world.
- Speed limits are no higher than 20mph for villages and towns, and lower limits on residential roads.
- Traffic-free zones are in all communities so children can roam.
- Pavements and safe crossing places are on all community streets.
- Separate cycle paths are next to all road or rail routes.
- Bus services are in all communities, with links to train services.
- Large trucks are restricted in all communities, by size and time and roads.
- Speed limits are no higher than 40mph for single carriageway rural roads, and 20mph for narrow country lanes.
- Speed limits are no higher than 60mph for two or more lane trunk roads.
- High speed rail is available for passengers and freight, for all long distance routes.
- There are restrictions on road use, when sustainable, safer transport options are accessible.
- Maximum vehicle speeds are limited to the maximum speed limit.
- All vehicles are driven by sustainable power sources.
- Finger-print locks are on all vehicles, so only drivers insured and licensed to drive can do so.
- Speed limit activated speed limiters (intelligent speed adaption), limit vehicles to within the posted speed limit.
- Alcolocks and druglocks are on all vehicles.
- Seat belt locks are on all vehicles, preventing the vehicle being driven unless belts are fastened.
- Occupant crash protection measures are on all buses as well as all other vehicles, such as 3-point belts.
- Occupant and pedestrian safety design measures are required by law to latest, highest standards.
- Telematics are in vehicles to record driving style, distance and times.
- Compulsory qualifications are required for vehicle mechanics, renewed in line with technological developments.
- Vehicles must have compulsory servicing, in line with manufacturer recommendations on timing and standards. An on-board clock prevents a vehicle starting if a service date is missed.
- Vehicles can’t be started if the on-board computer identifies a safety critical defect between services.
- Safety-critical design problems are solved, such as temperamental wheel fixings on large vehicles.
- Compulsory road crash awareness education is in nurseries and schools for all ages, warning against driving.
- Driver licensing age is raised to above the teens, to allow for cognitive development.
- Driver licensing involves compulsory training by a professional over several years.
- Driver training focuses on hazard and crash awareness and prevention measures.
- Driver licensing requires mental as well as physical health assessment, to rigorous standards.
- New drivers are banned from driving at night and on the fastest roads.
- New drivers are banned from carrying passengers other than their own family members.
- Health screening for eyesight and impairing medical conditions is required regularly for all drivers.
- There is regular compulsory re-testing of drivers.
- There is a ban on all levels of drink driving, with a trace element of no more than 20mg per 100ml of blood allowable.
- There is a ban on use of any impairing drug while driving, legal or illegal.
- There is a ban on mobile phones and pagers of all kinds while driving.
- There is a ban on overtaking free-moving traffic, except on multi-lane roads.
- Sleep and journey break laws are in line with academic advice on required rest, for all drivers.
- Cameras on roads and in vehicles can identify vehicles, drivers, and any offences that can still feasibly be committed, such as red light running or mobile phone use.
- Large numbers of highly trained traffic police are armed with relevant detecting equipment, to patrol and identify offences that can still be committed.
- Traffic police have the power to seize dangerous vehicles and prohibit dangerous drivers.
- A highly resourced agency enforces company fleet safety, helping companies implement safety requirements.
- A crash investigation agency investigates and records crash numbers and causes and prevents future tragedies.
- Life bans are implemented for life-threatening and life-taking drivers.
Why wait for the future. What are you doing to stop the carnage today? Take action now.