April 2012 PACTS Newsletter

Welcome to the April newsletter.
EVENTS
Achieving Compliance
Event Date: 9:30 am June 13, 2012
Location: Brunel University
This conference is being organised jointly by PACTS and the Criminal Justice Research Centre within Brunel Law School. Given the focus in the Strategic Framework for Road Safety on achieving compliance with road traffic law, it will offer an opportunity to review the evidence about the effectiveness of methods to encourage people to comply with the law. It will look at all aspects of the process from enforcement through to the effectiveness of sentencing.
PAST EVENTS
Aiming for Zero
Event Date: March 23, 2012
A key outcome of this conference was broad support for the development of a British version of Vision Zero, building on the adoption of a safe systems approach and the need for clear safety management and political leadership.
PACTS NEWS
Letter to Mike Penning 
As a result of the PACTS ‘Aiming for Zero’ conference, the Parliamentary Co-Chairs of PACTS have written to Mike Penning, Minister for Road Safety, regarding the need for a vision for road safety.
PACTS report ‘It’s My Choice: Safer mobility for an ageing population’
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has published a major report looking at safe mobility for an ageing population. The report, entitled “It’s My Choice” and available by clicking on the link above, looks at all aspects of public and private transport, arguing that we need to promote greater and safer mobility for an ageing society in order to ensure the benefits that independent
mobility can bring to quality of life.
Times Letter on Drink Driving
To coincide with the appearance of Mike Penning, Minister for road safety, before the Transport Select Commiittee, a letter to The Times called on the government to implement the recommendation from Sir Peter North to lower the drink drive limit from 80 to 50 to save lives on the roads. The letter was signed by 13 leading figures in public health including Baroness Hayter, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Abuse, Sir Ian Gilmore (Alcohol Health Alliance), Richard Parish (Royal Society for Public Health) and Peter Carter (Royal College of Nursing). The letter was co-ordinated on behalf of PACTS by Antony Fletcher, a concerned citizen  and campaigner from West Sussex.
OTHER NEWS
Railway Safety Performance in the European Union – 2012
The safety performance report 2012 published by the European Railway Agency presents common safety indicator data, overview of serious accidents in the EU, information on safety certification, safety targets and developments in safety regulation.
Progress in cutting EU road deaths falls to 2% in 2011
Progress in cutting road fatalities significantly slowed last year (to -2%) compared with a very promising EU-wide reduction throughout the last decade (on average -6%), according to new figures published by the European Commission. Worse still, some EU Member States, like Germany and Sweden, who have very strong safety records, now show a significant increase in deaths. In other Member States, like Poland and Belgium – already lagging behind in road safety – the number of deaths went up. The problem of motorcycles – where fatalities have still not fallen after more than a decade – still persists.
Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 – Annual Report 2011
Transport Scotland has published its 2011 Annual Report on Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020. It reports on casualty numbers and progress towards the Scottish reduction targets, as well as delivery of road safety commitments. It also states Scotland’s commitment to lowering the drink drive limit as recommended by the North Review of Drink Driving 2009 and the Scottish Government’s belief in the value of having targets.
DfT announce new cycle routes, racks and repair centres
Cyclists and walkers across the UK are on track to benefit from thousands of new cycle spaces and routes from the middle of this year, Transport Minister Norman Baker has announced.
French government campaign ‘Women’s manifesto for safer roads’
The French government has a campaign entitled ‘Women’s manifesto for safer roads’, recognising the fact that 75% of road deaths in France are male. 92% of powered two wheeler road deaths are male, and 92% of drivers involved in a fatal crash over the drink drive limit. 32% of women killed on the road were passengers.
There is a similar gender bias in UK statistics. In 2010 74% of road deaths were male. This includes 73% of car drivers and 97% of motorcyclists, and 68% of pedestrians. Women made up 52% of car passengers killed. Women are much less likely to be involved in a drink drive accident, as drivers, than men.
ETSC PRAISE (Preventing Road Accidents and Injuries for the Safety of Employees) annual event
Date: 25th April 2012
STATISTICS
Rail Safety Performance – February 2012
The Rail Safety and Standards Board has published the following:
INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH
As well as encouraging and supporting the sharing of Britain’s expertise and knowledge, PACTS is committed to using the Decade of Action as an opportunity to build on existing European and international contacts and learn from experience from outside the UK.
APRIL 2012: Ipsos, the research organisation, has published a report on behaviour change policy. ‘Many of the biggest challenges we face as societies around the world could be largely solved if people changed their behaviours and habits.  It’s no surprise then that behavioural economics or “nudge” approaches are of increasing interest to governments and policy-makers.  In these austere times, relatively cheap ways to deal with major issues is hugely attractive.’ This report, Acceptable Behaviour?, asks citizens across 24 countries how acceptable they find different levels of government intervention.
 
PARLIAMENT
 
MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
 
Additional Funding for Buses
Date: March 23, 2012
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Norman Baker)
DEBATES
 
Mobility Scooter Safety
Date: March 21, 2012
Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View) (Lab)
House of Lords Short Debate: Motorists and Cylists
Date: March 9, 2012
Lord Glentoran
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 here.
This question was asked on week beginning 19th March:
Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to reduce the risk to pedestrians and cyclists from heavy goods vehicles; and whether they are promoting the use of safety schemes such as that undertaken by the Crossrail project. [HL16416]
Earl Attlee: Vehicle construction legislation is adopted at an EU level. European legislation requires most heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) first registered since January 2007 to have improved mirrors and further European legislation requires existing HGVs first registered from January 2000 to be retro-fitted with improved mirrors on the passenger side. This legislation has been implemented in all member states of the European Union and applies to most HGVs used for domestic and foreign trade.
The Department for Transport recently commissioned research with Loughborough University on improving driver vision and this was published in November 2011. The research findings are being used to improve International regulations on mirrors for new vehicles. The reports are available on the Loughborough website at:
https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/
Phase 1 = http://hdl.handle.net/2134/8872
Phase 2 = http://hdl.handle.net/2134/8873
Impact Assessment = http://hdl.handle.net/2134/8874
Furthermore we have recently announced that English councils are now free to use “Trixi” cycle safety mirrors at traffic signal-controlled junctions: to make cyclists more visible to drivers of large vehicles. Previously councils required explicit permission from the department on a case by case basis.
We welcome the use of safety schemes such as that undertaken by the Crossrail project, where all lorries are required to meet specific safety standards. We also welcome other initiatives such as the Freight Transport Association’s Cycling Code, which it has produced in collaboration with Transport for London and the London Cycling Campaign, and “Exchanging Places” events; and we encourage local authorities to consider such activities which can improve road sharing.
PACTS comments:  PACTS welcomes the move to make installing Trixi mirrors easier, though the Institute for Road Safety Research in the Netherlands warns that they are only effective while the lorry is stopped in front of the mirror.
 
Improvements in both infrastructure and behaviour are needed to make cycling safer in the UK, which is why safety schemes such as the one undertaken by Crossrail are so important. Crossrail has implemented lorry requirements to improve cycle safety, such as fitting safety equipment and having mandatory road safety training for drivers. 
 
The Freight Transport Association’s Cycling Code mentioned in Earl Attlee’s answer is available at: http://bit.ly/qJRjCn. Additionally Transport for London operate the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), an industry-led membership scheme which aims to help operators to become safer, greener and more efficient. This scheme should be rolled out nation-wide.
 
However there needs to be a balance in responsibility. Cyclists should be encouraged to undergo cycle safety training and take part in ‘exchanging places’ which allows them to experience sitting in the cab of an HGV.
Keep up to date on transport safety news on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pacts
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