RAC calls for road safety targets

21/09/2015
Highways Reporters

New casualty reduction targets need to be introduced if the recent increase in people being hurt on the roads is not to be repeated, according to the RAC Foundation.

On Thursday (24 September) the government will release detailed casualty figures for 2014. The Foundation says these will show that last year in Great Britain 1,775 people died on the roads (a four per cent increase on the year before), with 22,807 more seriously injured (a five per cent annual increase).

The Foundation adds that, while today’s casualty figures are still significantly below those seen when the coalition government came to power, much of the reduction came in 2010, the general election year, and the 2014 rise is the second in the last four years, and come against a backdrop of reduced spending on road safety at local level and it says “a concern that the lack of a national target has led to a lack of focus and loss of impetus particularly in England”.

The Foundation surveyed 34 English local authorities found that when it came to road safety:


  • 85 per cent thought the changes in resources and capacity since 2010 had had a negative impact


  • 76 per cent thought the changes in national leadership and strategy were detrimental


  • 60 per cent rated progress in road safety overall as poor.


The figures are detailed in the report Road Safety Since 2010, published by the RAC Foundation and PACTS, and compiled by PACTS and Road Safety Analysis.

It says that, while car occupant safety has improved markedly, the situation amongst vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists) has been “less good”.  Although deaths in this group have declined, they are now a larger proportion of all road deaths, rising from 46 per cent in 2005-9 to 50 per cent in 2014.  The absolute number of cyclists seriously injured has risen by 42 per cent.  This might partially be explained by the rise in the numbers cycling.

Road casualty trends are not just influenced by policy decisions: external factors such as traffic volumes and travel trends also play a part. For example, fewer car miles were driven (and at lower speeds) during the recession, while the number of cyclists has risen.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Because of a lack of central focus, and faced with swingeing budget cuts, English councils have not prioritised road safety and have seen a lot of experienced staff leave.

“We also need to see more systematic sharing of best practice. Why has Scotland managed to achieve a decline of nearly a third in those killed or seriously hurt on the roads over the past five years while Wales has only managed a fifth of that?

“Cars have become much safer, but this has predominantly benefitted car occupants and today half of fatalities are amongst vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.

“We should be proud of our long-term road safety record, but new impetus is needed to protect it. It was a Conservative transport minister who set a challenging casualty reduction target in 1987. We hope today’s Conservative government will be persuaded to follow the same successful path.”
Highways jobs

Senior CIL and S106 Officer

£33,543 - £46,962
We are looking for an exceptional candidate to fill a Senior role within the Information and Planning Obligations Team. London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Vehicle Technician x2

£24,982 - £29,577 per annum
These positions are fixed term contracts for 12 months with the prospect of a permanent roles once the Class C Driving Licence has been obtained.  Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Highway Development Control Manager (Highways and Engineering)

£35,662 - £41-811 per annum
We are looking for an exceptional candidate who can work with internal and external clients to assess the transport and highways elements of... Calderdale, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Strategic Transport Planner

£39,880 – £41,881 per annum
The post holder will be tasked with delivering actions outlined in the key coporate strategies... Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: Harrogate Borough Council

Chartered Structural Engineer

£48,000
We are looking to recruit an experienced Chartered Civil or Structural Engineer within the Infrastructure Asset Management Section of... Rhondda Cynon Taf
Recruiter: Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council

Street Works Inspector

£24,982 - £27,041 per annum
For further information on the role please click. Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Sustainable Travel Delivery Specialist

£32,234 - £34,728 per annum
Are you passionate about Active Travel and Sustainable Transport? Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Projects Officer

£43,719 - £47,743 per annum
We are now looking for a Senior Projects Officer to join our busy Transport and Infrastructure team and support the delivery of a range of... Watford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Watford Borough Council

Chief Executive

Competitive Salary
In this unique role, leading the UK’s first sub-national transport body, you’ll draw on your understanding of... Manchester/Leeds (flexible)
Recruiter: Transport for the North

Head of Enforcement & Safety

£67,164 - £75,695
You will have responsibility for operational delivery of key services across the Borough, including... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Havering London Borough Council

Head of Outbreak Control (12-month FTC)

£67,164 - £75,695
You will need to demonstrate specific experience in working with the general public, including customer care initiatives such as London (Greater)
Recruiter: Havering London Borough Council

Head of Highways, Traffic and Parking

£67,164 - £75,695
As Head of Highways, Traffic and Parking, reporting into the Assistant Director for Highways and Environment, you will have responsibility for... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Havering London Borough Council

Assistant Director of Public Realm

£92,700 to £101,423
As Assistant Director of Public Realm you will provide the strategic direction for, and management of a range of services designed to ensure... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Havering London Borough Council

Senior Infrastructure Server Engineer (Senior Data Centre Engineer)

£41,952 - £48,663 per annum
The successful candidate will have a BSc in relevant discipline, or equivalent industry experience. Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Programme Officer (Transport)

£32,910 - £36,922
As a Senior Programme Officer for strategic transport, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of transport policy for... Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Transport Planner

£26,025 - £38,616 depending on skills
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Sustainable Transport Lead

£39,000- £45,000 per annum
Do you have experience in climate action and community led projects? Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Recruiter: Publica

Conservation Officer

£26,025 - £38,616 depending on skills
Do you have passion and enthusiasm for the historic built environment?  London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Project Manager - Waste Management

Up to £47389 per annum
Project Manager - Waste ManagementFixed Term, 24 monthsFull Time, 37 hours per weekUp to £47,389 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Programme Manager - Waste Management

£51510 - £62842 per annum
Programme Manager - Waste ManagementPermanent, Full TimeUp to £62,842 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Highways Heroes Special

View the latest issue

Latest Video