- Road safety targets were abolished in 2010, by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition Government, and have not been reinstated.
- In the decade from 2000 – 2009, the number of road deaths fell by 35%, from 3,409 to 2,222.
- In the decade from 2010 - 2019, the reduction in road deaths stalled, falling by 6% from 2010 but by less than 1% from 2012.
- The UK has collision investigation branches for rail, aviation and maritime but no equivalent for roads, which see far higher numbers of casualties and deaths than other transport modes.
Fatalities in reported road crashes: GB, 2004-2019, Department for Transport
Trends in serious injury statistics are difficult to analyse, due to changes in the way the are reported. However, the Government's statistical report notes that: "...when accounting for changes in reporting, the estimated number of serious injuries since 2010 has declined slightly, at a slower rate than before 2010". In 2019, this equalled well in excess of 25,000 serious injuries in road crashes.
Targets to zero
- The Government must set a target of zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2040, aligning the UK with best practice globally, with set milestones to this target.
- Casualty reduction targets must also consider and encourage the healthy movement of people and not be set in isolation, for example, we need targets for reduction of deaths and serious injuries per miles travelled on foot and bicycle. Negative unintended consequences of target setting must be avoided, i.e. steps to reduce cyclist casualties must not come at a cost to the numbers choosing to cycle.
- Measurable performance indicators must enable transparency on progression towards safe and healthy mobility for all. Indicators should include measures such as: length of segregated, tarmacked routes for cycling; percentage of urban roads that are 20mph or lower; percentage of drivers speeding on 20mph roads; percentage of dead drivers found with illegal drugs in their system; number of cycling stages travelled; reduction of vehicle use; number of drivers breathalysed in targeted checks; percentage of drivers found to be over the drink-drive limit in random checks, etc. The Government must consult on the appropriate formation of these indicators.
Independent and effective collision investigation
- The Government must establish an independent Road Collision Investigation Branch (RCIB) that identifies causation that can be prevented through design or management, rather than trying to establish criminality.
- The RCIB should identify and make recommendations regarding effective and cost-effective countermeasures to stop deaths and injuries, support Britain’s police in pursuance of excellence in their forensic investigation of crashes, and develop standards and expertise in collision investigation, data recording and analysis that can assist and unify investigations in the UK and, for comparison purposes, abroad.