The PACTS Spring conference, Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics? Understanding casualty trends and the causes, was attended by over 100 people. It brought together experts in statistics, safety, crime and health, who took on the ambitious task of trying to explain why the number of road deaths had fallen so dramatically since 2007 and the implications for safety policy in the future. The clear message was that influencing attitudes to risk was crucial – although how that can be achieved is a more complex question and still open to debate. As panellist Iain Reeve of Surrey County Council said, perhaps the real question is not why they fell so much since 2007 but why they fell so little in the five or so years prior to that.
We were pleased that road safety minister Stephen Hammond not only gave the opening address but also took the opportunity of the PACTS conference to launch two new road safety websites: the Local Authorities Comparison Website which gives data on casualties and road safety expenditure for each local authority; and the Road Safety Observatory website which provides a systematic summary of research on road safety topics.
Feedback from delegates has been very positive. The presentations and an audio recording of the day are (or will be) on the PACTS website. There will also be a report in Local Transport Today. PACTS is grateful to all our speakers and to Volvo Car for its sponsorship of the conference.
Download the event brochure
Stephen Hammond, Road Safety Minister:
Speech to the PACTS Conference
Louise Lloyd, TRL:
A Reduction in Fatal Casualties: Who, Why and What does this mean?
Professor Allan Brimicombe, Centre for Geo-Information Studies, University of East London:
Crime Statistics in the Dock: the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Nick Starling, ABI:
Trends in Claims and what they mean for Safety
Robert Mumford, Road Safety Foundation:
Getting Better Information
Maralyn Woodford, The Trauma Audit & Research Network:
(Awaiting author’s permission.)