PACTS March Conference – Beyond 2010
PACTS Members Meeting
Westminster Hall debate – Young and Novice Drivers
£150m cycling fund
Think! Switch off before you drive
New capacity for rolling stock
DfT 25th Anniversary of introduction of seatbelts
Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) Reports on Heathrow Incident
PACTS Conference: ‘Beyond 2010 – Where next?’ March 13th 2008
In October 2007, PACTS published a report entitled 'Beyond 2010 - a holistic approach to casualty reduction' which argued that while casualty reduction targets had been a success, a wide context for road safety now existed. This included areas such as climate change, the ageing population, land use planning and public health. The conference aims to build on the report and take forward some of the key issues.
The conference will comprise a mixture of plenary and workshop sessions whilst Jim Fitzpatrick will give the keynote address. The morning session consists of speakers on top line issues such as Great Britain in the EU context, the role of traffic law enforcement and realising the contribution of technology. The afternoon workshop topics include Motorcycling, Young and Novice Drivers, Road Safety and Public Health and 20mph speed limits and the battle over public opinion.
The conference will be held at the Royal Society of Arts, with registration at 9.30am. Conference costs are as follows:
PACTS Members - £210.33 (£179 plus VAT)
Non-members - £233.83 (£199 plus VAT)
For the booking form please see attachment 1. For any conference queries please email email@example.com or contact the PACTS office on 0207-2227732.
PACTS Members’ Meeting
The next PACTS Members’ Meeting is to be held on Tuesday 4th March from 3-5pm in the Committee Room at the Houses of Parliament. Agenda, papers and details of the speaker will be circulated to PACTS Members in the near future.
Westminster Hall Debate – Young and Novice Drivers – Thursday 7th Feb
The topic of Young and Novice Drivers will be debated in Westminster Hall from 2.30pm on Thursday 7th February. Although we are still awaiting publication of the relevant consultation this topic tends to produce an interesting discussion. Robert Gifford, PACTS Executive Director, has produced a short briefing on the subject (see attachment 2) for interested parties.
Ruth Kelly announces £140m cycling fund
Last month, in an ambitious new drive to push cycling, Ruth Kelly pledged to invest £140m in a new cycling fund. The three-fold increase in investment aims to tackle road congestion, improve air quality and create more opportunities for exercise as well as forming part of the government’s forthcoming strategy to tackle obesity.
The funding, spread over three years, will allow an extra 500,000 ten year olds across England to take part in Bikeability cycle training by 2012, building another 250 Safe Links to School incorporating around 500 more schools into the National Cycle Network, creating up to a further 10 Cycling Demonstration Towns and culminating in the inauguration of the first Cycling Demonstration City.
New Think! Campaign – Mobile phones
With the case of Kiera Coultas, a motorist who hit and killed a cyclist whilst sending a text message on her mobile phone, highlighted in the media last week, the launch of the new Think! Campaign, ‘Switch off before you drive off’, was more pertinent than ever. The campaign, launched on Friday 1st February, features a new radio advert as well as the television advert launched last year, and reminds drivers to switch off before getting behind the wheel. The campaign is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the introduction of tougher penalties for using a mobile phone when driving, which increased to £60 and three penalty points on 27th February 2007. It is hoped that the campaign, with the tagline ‘Dying to take the call?’ will reach a broad audience and reinforce the message that the use of a mobile phone whilst driving is unacceptable.
New Capacity for Rolling Stock
Transport secretary, Ruth Kelly, announced plans last month, to deliver extra capacity on some of the rail networks busiest routes. Last year’s white paper – Delivering a Sustainable Railway – promised 1300 extra carriages. The publication of the Rolling Stock Plan, which provides the indicative numbers of additional carriages needed by English Train Operating Companies to meet the planned growth, appears to be a step towards the realization of this promise. The extra capacity will be provided through additional carriages and redeployment of pre-existing carriages, which should mean that longer vehicles can run on the most popular routes during busy times.
A copy of the rolling stock plan is available on the DfT website through the following link (Ctrl + click to follow link)
DfT Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the introduction of seatbelts
On the 31st January 2008, the 25th anniversary of the law change which made front seatbelt wearing compulsory was celebrated. PACTS itself was set up by Barry Sheerman MP as part of the fight to get mandatory seatbelt wearing turned into legislation. Eight years later it became compulsory for all backseat passengers to use seatbelts and it is estimated that since the introduction of the first law change in 1983, seatbelts have prevented 60,000 deaths and over 670,000 serious injuries.
However, there is still work to be done regarding compliance. The ETSC Pin Report (2007) ‘Raising Compliance with Road Safety Law’ revealed that the UK still falls behind Germany in seat belt use rates, whilst research suggests that advanced seat belt reminders could get up to 99% of drivers to use their seat belt (Kullgren et al. 2006) which would further improve safety on our roads.
Air Accidents Investigation Branch Report
Following the crash-landing incident involving a Boeing 777-236 at Heathrow on 17th January 2008, the AAIB produced an initial report. This is available on their website www.aib.dft.gov.uk. We are currently awaiting a full report on the incident.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is a registered charity and an associate Parliamentary Group. Its charitable objective is "To protect human life through the promotion of transport safety for the public benefit". Its aim is to advise and inform members of the House of Commons and of the House of Lords on air, rail and road safety issues.