June 2011 PACTS Newsletter

EVENTS
Forthcoming PACTS events – more details to come soon: 
October 13th 2011
“Older, Wiser and Safer: ensuring safe mobility for an ageing population”
Speakers confirmed include Jane Falkingham (Southampton University), Carol Hawley (University of Warwick), Neil Greig (IAM) and Gemma Bradshaw (AGE UK).
Venue: the Royal Society of Medicine, One Wimpole Street, London WC1.
November 30th 2011
22nd Westminster Lecture to be given by Jillian Anable, University of Aberdeen.
Invitations will be sent out during July.
Non PACTS events
TISPOL: The Conference 2011
The Challenges Facing Road Safety
27 & 28 September 2011
NEWS
Launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety
The UK launch of the Decade of Action was held at Church House in Westminster on the 11th May. Details including the programme, presetations, and photos can be found on the PACTS website at http://bit.ly/jxO43x 
The web portal Link2 has made the Decade of Action their theme of the month: http://bit.ly/kBaiHY.
 
DfT Red Tape Challenge
The Department for Transport has launched a Red Tape Challenge asking people to comment on Regulations covering road transport. Much of the existing regulatory structure is intended to protect people from unneccessary death or injury. However, it may be the case that some regulations are out of date or could be updated to reflect changing research or circumstances. Comments on specific regulations can be made via the dedicated website.
Sir Roy McNulty’s Rail Value for Money Study Published
Realising the Potential of GB Rail – Report of the Rail Value for Money Study
An independent report of a study chaired by Sir Roy McNulty and commissioned by the Secretary of State for Transport. The report was jointly sponsored by DfT and ORR (Office of Rail Regulation) to examine the opportunities and barriers to improve the value for money of GB rail for taxpayers, passengers and freight customers.
ORR revises Systems Safety Regulations
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has revised its publication ‘ The Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 – A Guide to ROGS which can be found on ORR’s website at the link above.
ORR launches National Rail Trends Portal
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has today launched the National Rail Trends (NRT) portal, which provides easy access to the latest statistics on rail performance, usage, safety, network capability and assets, and finance.
RESEARCH
 
Simple Measures Save Lives – Road Safety Foundation
The Road Safety Foundation has published this year’s tracking survey. Entitled Simple Measures Save Lives, the report shows that elementary safety measures are paying back the costs of investment in an average of 10 weeks. The savings are worth over £50 million annually to emergency services, the NHS, local authority care, businesses and families.
The report found that more than 300 people in the UK are alive today or have avoided the prospect of a lifetime of special care because just 15 roads have had simple improvements put in place. On these 15 roads alone, fatal and serious crashes dropped 62% from 494 to 190.
STATISTICS
 
Mortality statistics and road traffic accidents in the UK – RAC Foundation
Road accidents eclipse stabbings, shootings, suicide by hanging and substance abuse combined, as the biggest cause of death amongst the young other than illness. Between the ages of 15-24 a person is seventeen times more likely to die on the roads, than be fatally assaulted with a weapon, including guns and knives. These are amongst the grim statistics uncovered by Elizabeth Box of the RAC Foundation to coincide with the launch of the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety on 11th May 2011.
PARLIAMENT
MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
The Road Safety Strategic Framework
http://bit.ly/jvU9Sg
Wednesday 11th May 2011
The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP launched the Road Safety Strategic Framework at the UN Decade of Action launch event.
“Each year an incredible 1.3 million people are killed and 50 million are injured on the world’s roads. Politicians often use words like incredible, but when I saw those figures I asked someone to check them. They are correct and they are mind-numbing figures. Equally chilling is the fact that, on current trends, road fatalities could become the world’s fifth biggest killer by 2030. These facts and figures demonstrate that road safety is a truly global issue. They also remind us of the motivation for the UN Decade of Action – a decade in which, with the right focus, action and policies, countless lives will be saved in the years ahead.”
“Britain is rightly proud of its road safety record. Our highways are among the safest roads in the world and we have seen significant decreases in our casualty figures. But, in spite of all we have achieved, we still lose six or seven people to road accidents in this country every day of the week. Every road death is a grim statistic – but it is also a personal tragedy. And, as well as the terrible human cost, there is a heavy economic price to pay. Again, I had to have these figures checked – in Britain, the economic welfare costs are estimated at around £16 billion a year, while insurance payouts for motoring claims alone are now over £12 billion a year.”
Read the full statement at

 

The Road Safety Strategic Framework is available at http://bit.ly/l5C26k. PACTS is preparing a full response to the Strategic Framework, which will be available on our website shortly.
Review of Investigation/Closure Procedures for Motorway Incidents
Thursday 19th May 2011
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mike Penning) published the preliminary report on investigation and closure procedures for motorway incidents.
BILLS AND ACTS
Road Safety Ten Minute Rule Bill
May 18th 2011
by Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed) (LD)
PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS
“Parliamentary questions are tools that can be used by Members of Parliament to seek information or to press for action. They oblige Ministers to explain and defend the work, policy decisions and actions of their Departments.”
All transport safety parliamentary questions and PACTS comments can be viewed at http://bit.ly/fa9ZQL
These questions were asked on week beginning 23rd May:
Roads: Snow and Ice
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has established a monitoring and forecasting process for salt stocks and supplies as recommended in the Winter Resilience Review interim report. [56039]
Norman Baker [holding answer 17 May 2011]: In taking action on the recommendations from the Winter Resilience Review report which were assigned to the Department for Transport, we developed a salt stock monitoring portal system. In co-operation with local highway authorities, Transport for London, the devolved Administrations and the Highways Agency, we undertook regular audits of both local authority and highways agency salt stock levels throughout the winter.
These audits commenced weekly in early December 2010 and, following an improved weather situation, a decision was taken to suspend them in February 2011.
In order to inform preparations for next winter, we are currently undertaking a survey of highway authorities to assess their latest salt stock holdings and plans for restocking.
The Department also worked closely with the domestic salt producers throughout the winter.
Transport: Snow and Ice
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last met the Independent Review Panel on Winter Resilience; and how many times he has met the Panel since December 2010. [56038]
Norman Baker [holding answer 17 May 2011]: The Secretary of State met the Winter Resilience Panel on 7 October 2010 in advance of the publication of the Final Report on 22 October. He also met with David Quarmby CBE, chair of the Panel, on 17 December in advance of the publication of his Audit on 21 December.
The publication of these reports completed the terms of the Winter Panel’s appointments and no further meetings have been held.
PACTS comments: The Transport Committee has published Keeping the UK moving: The impact on transport of the winter weather in December 2010 (available at http://bit.ly/mfD5wz), which recommends measures the government should take to improve resilience and minimise disruption. These include:
– Provide better online advice for individuals and communities about tackling problems arising from severe winter weather
– Launch a high profile campaign to increase the proportion of motorists taking precautions for driving in winter weather
– Develop clearer snow and ice risk travel warnings for freight vehicles   similar to those for strong winds
 
Measures are straightforward and it is suggested that the cost would be minimal when compared to the losses incurred due to winter weather disruption. 
 
At the PACTS Rail Safety Working Party the issues of climate change adaptation and weather related incidents were discussed. The Rail Safety and Standards Board presented a project currently underway – Tomorrow’s Railway and Climate Change Adaptation (TRaCCA) which aims to allow climate change adaptation to be built into the planning process. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch presented several case studies where incidents occurred due to snow and ice, high temperatures, high rainfall, high winds, low adhesion, or fog. It was explained that in many cases the technology required to reduce the risk of these incidents occurring is not complicated, for example it could just be a case of larger drains; the important factor is probability of risk.
Keep up to date on transport safety news on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pacts 
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