Take the brake off investment to stop road casualties, says charity

Highways Reporters

Road safety charity Brake has called for greater investment in roads infrastructure as one of the solutions to combat a 6% rise in the number of people reported killed or seriously injured (KSIs) on Britain’s roads.

Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show 25,160 KSIs between October 2015 to September 2016 – up from 23,824 during the previous 12 months.

Gary Rae, campaigns director at Brake (pictured), said: “The figures are heading in the wrong direction.

“We’re calling for the reintroduction of ambitious road casualty targets, increased investment in infrastructure, and vehicle development to ensure our roads are safe and our vehicles secure. We also need more resources available to the police to enforce the law.”

The DfT has suggested that the ‘statistically significant’ rise in KSIs is partly down to a change in the way casualties are recorded by police forces through the CRASH system. Officers using CRASH record the injuries by type rather than the severity and this is then automatically converted to a severity classification.

Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety executive director of David Davies acknowledged this, but said there is insufficient evidence of progress on the Government’s promise to reduce the number of cyclists and other road users killed or injured.

A DfT spokesperson said: “Britain continues to have some of the safest roads in the world but we are determined to do more. We are also spending £175 million on improving the safety on 50 of England's most dangerous roads.”

As concerns over road safety rise, Brake is hosting a free webinar on March 15 for fleet and road safety professionals on managing occupational risk on the UK’s highways.

The webinar will provide best practice guidance for companies with their own fleets. Topics will include best practice policies and procedures relating to buying, leasing and maintaining vehicles, monitoring and assessing employees who drive cars, and enabling public transport and active travel.

A case study will be presented, while industry specialists will discuss the importance of having robust risk management policies in place. To register email professional@brake.org.uk or register online here.
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