Report finds insufficient government leadership and funding for road safety

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published an independent report which finds that there has been insufficient central government leadership and funding for British road safety over the last decade. The report urges the adoption of a national road safety performance framework with set targets to reduce death and serious injury on our roads.

The “Road Safety management Capacity Review”, commissioned by DfT in May 2017 was published on 26 June 2018 and contains a wide-ranging multitude of recommendations for central, and local, government, on how to improve the UK’s stagnating road safety record. The review says that “… the priority given to road safety has been slipping for some years into unknown territory and that the momentum and rate of progress in casualty reduction seen in previous years has been lost.”

The review recommendations cover all aspects of road safety but states that the critical factors for success will be: strong ministerial leadership; a planned, systematic, accountable approach to road safety management with clear roles and responsibilities; the adoption of a national long-term goal towards the ultimate prevention of death and serious injury; and the adoption of national interim quantitative targets to 2030 to reduce death and serious injury.

Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:

“Through its clear-sighted assessment of road safety in Britain, this review is damning of the lack of leadership and funding provided by central government over the last decade. With more than 70 people a day being killed or seriously injured on our roads, the Government must implement the review’s recommendations as a matter of urgency, with the introduction of road safety targets crucial to forcing action.”

“The findings of the review come as no surprise Brake, and other road safety campaigners, who have warned government about the lack of progress on road safety and loudly advocated for evidence-led policy change. Reviewing all national speed limits, lowering the drink-drive limit and increasing police funding are just some of the recommendations made in this government commissioned report which have long been called for by road safety campaigners.”

“The findings of this report must act as a wake-up call to the Government and make clear that it can no longer shy away from big road safety policy decisions, no matter the political implications.”

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