July 2012 PACTS Newsletter


Welcome to the July newsletter.



Driving While Impaired

Event Date: 10:00 am October 16, 2012

Location: One Wimpole Street London W1G 0AE

Despite the progress in reducing drink-driving, around 14% of road deaths involve a driver over the legal limit. The scale of driving while under the influence of illegal drugs is also likely to be greater than currently known. This conference will bring together a range of speakers to identify the ways forward to reduce these deaths further. Join us for a lively debate on these perenially important issues.


Achieving Compliance

Event Date: June 13, 2012

Location: Brunel University

This was a well attended event that enabled connections to be made between the research and practitioner communities – a key part of PACTS’ role. PACTS is grateful to Brunel Law School for the opportunity to undertake the day. It was also somewhat ironic that, on the day following the conference, the government issued a conultation document on fixed penalty notices for careless driving with a great fanfare about how this would lead to greater enforcement on our roads.

Two key themes emerged during the day: the role of education in achieving compliance or in creating an environment in which greater enforcement might be acceptable and the factors that lead to greater deterrence – certainty, severity and celerity.



Tispol Conference 2012

Event date: October 2 and 3, 2012

Location: Edinburgh

At the TISPOL conference, you will hear the current thinking and developments in road safety and enforcement from across Europe and beyond. There will also be a selection of road safety and enforcement exhibitors displaying their products and willing to offer advice and assistance in relation to their potential solutions.




Reported Road Casualties 2011: Main Results

Figures published by the Department for Transport show that in 2011 road deaths rose by 3% (the first increase since 2003) and that serious injuries rose by 2% (the first increase since 1994). In addition, car occupant deaths rose by 6%, pedestrian deaths by 12% and serious injuries among cyclists by 16%.

Commenting on behalf of the road safety community listed below, Robert Gifford, Executive Director of PACTS, said “These are extremely disappointing results after two years  – 2009 and 2010 – of substantial falls in deaths and injuries. They are a demonstration of the concern that all of us have expressed about the lack of leadership, priority and resources given to road safety by the current government.

“This is the first time that deaths have risen since 2003 and serious injuries since 1994. They also occur at a time of no change in terms of the amount of traffic. For deaths to begin to rise at a time of recession should be a matter of concern to the government.

“Ministers should see these figures as a wake-up call to review the impact of the Strategic Framework published in May 2011 on the provision of road safety at a local level and on the priority given to roads policing. They should now enter a genuine dialogue with the profession about a vision for road safety for the next decade. Road deaths and injuries are preventable and we have a moral responsibility to act where we know that measures can be taken.”

This statement was issued with the support of CIHT, RoadSafetyGB, Institute of Road Safety Officers, Association of Industrial Road Safety Officers, CTC, Campaign for Better Transport, TMS Consultancy


The European Transport Safety Council has published its sixth PIN Report looking at progress towards reductions in road casualties across Europe. The report includes an analysis of the institutional and financial arrangements for road safety in each of the EU member states. The United Kingdom receives two red cards out of three, a position that should give us cause for concern as we implement the Strategic Framework for Road Safety.

Commenting on the report, Robert Gifford said “This report highlights our failure to set a robust target or to have a plan with objectives and timescales. Our two red cards put us in the same category as Belgium, the Czech republic, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal – not our natural comparators for road safety. I urge the government to read the report carefully and take its conclusions seriously.”

DfT consultation on careless driving penalties

The Department for Transport has launched a consultation on new proposals to make fixed penalty notices available for careless driving.

Campaign launched on anniversary of Continuous Insurance Enforcement scheme

new campaign has been launched on the anniversary of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement law. Under the scheme it is an offence to be the keeper of an uninsured vehicle. The DVLA database is cross-checked with the Motor Insurance Database (MID) and a letter is sent to the vehicle keeper to alert them that no insurance record can be found and will result in penalties and fines if no action is taken.




Developing Public Policy with Randomised Controlled Trials

This new report from the Behavioural Insights Team explores the advantages and the process of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to develop public policy. The process is summarised by the following words: test, learn, adapt. Interventions are tested using this process, which can be used to continually improve the intervention’s impact on a specific outcome. The report argues that RCTs should be used more extensively in analysing the effectiveness of public policy.



Rail Safety Performance – May 2012

The Rail Safety and Standards Board has published the following:

May 2012, Summary of Safety Performance report

The monthly SPAD Cat A and TPWS Report for May 2012




As well as encouraging and supporting the sharing of Britain’s expertise and knowledge, PACTS is committed to using the Decade of Action for Road Safety as an opportunity to build on existing European and international contacts and learn from experience from outside the UK. Therefore each month a publication from a different country will be featured on the Decade of Action website.

July 2012: The Ibero-American Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI) has developed the first Ibero-American database on accidents, which is now available on the OISEVI website. 130,000 people are killed and six million injured every year in Latin America.





Consultation on Active Travel (Wales) Bill



Road Freight Inquiry

Date: June 20, 2012

Transport Committee call for evidence

Transport Committee Freight PACTS



Driving for work

Date: June 25, 2012



Local Sustainable Transport Fund

Date: June 27, 2012

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Norman Baker)

Cycle Safety

Date: June 26, 2012

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Norman Baker)



“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.

These questions were asked on week beginning 11th June:

Roads: Safety

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to her Department’s Strategic Framework for Road Safety, what steps have been taken with respect to point 4.22 of the Framework to develop a further training scheme for older drivers. [109255]

Mike Penning: In paragraph 4.22 of the Strategic Framework we identified a desire to work with the voluntary sector representing the elderly on this. We will be taking this work forward in due course.

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department has taken in respect of the Strategic Framework for Road Safety to date; and what further steps are planned for implementation of the strategy. [109256]

Mike Penning: Since the publication of the Strategic Framework for Road Safety in May 2011, the Department has taken a series of important steps to implement proposals set out in the framework. They include steps on all three of the thematic chapters of the framework.

1. ‘improving road safety together’: preparatory work for the launch of a road safety comparison site, a road safety observatory, a speed limit assessment tool and a revised speed limit circular is well advanced and on track for completion this year.

2. ‘education’: we have already made changes to the driving tests and changes to the educational scheme for drink drive offenders are progressing towards implementation.

3. ‘targeted enforcement and sanctions’: preparatory work on the introduction of fixed penalty notices for careless driving and increased penalty fines is well-advanced and legislation to create a specific drug impaired driving offence has been published.

The Department will continue implementation of these and other measures as set out in the Strategic Framework.

PACTS comments:  The vague answer to the first question above is disappointing – it appears the Department for Transport has not taken any steps towards the development of a further training scheme for older drivers, and it is unclear when it will do so. PACTS highlighted the importance of such a scheme in our report on mobility for an ageing population. The second answer is more interesting and useful. Perhaps the Department should consider developing this and publishing a brief annual update on progress made on the framework.   


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