November 2012 PACTS Newsletter

Welcome to the November newsletter.



23rd Westminster Lecture: Managing for Ambitious Road Safety Results


Event Date: 6pm November 28, 2012

Location: Church House, London

Jeanne Breen will give an international perspective on what works in road safety. It is well known that without effective action, road traffic injury will be a cause of serious health loss for men by 2030 and the leading cause of child death and injury by 2015. Jeanne, with her extensive knowledge of international best practice, will look at how to manage road safety outcomes and at how to improve road safety outcomes in Great Britain using international best practice.



Driving While Impaired

Event Date: October 16, 2012

The conference brought together two key topics covering impaired driving: alcohol and illegal drugs. Sir Peter North opened the day with an update on his report on drink and drug driving. Kim Wolff closed the event with an indication of the advice to be given to Ministers on illegal drugs and driving. The presentations also included important new research looking at women and alcohol and the implications for drink-drive policy of a previously under-considered issue.



DfT publishes an update on action plan

The DfT has published an update on the action plan which was originally included in the Strategic Framework for Road Safety.

Safety on GB’s railways – speech

At the International Railway Safety Conference on the 8th October, Richard Price, Chief Executive at the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), spoke about safety on Great Britain’s railways and the importance of a regulatory framework which gives the public assurance that the railways are safe, reliable and efficient.

ABI Report on Young Drivers

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published a report calling for graduated licences to be introduced for young drivers. News coverage has suggested that in return for graduated licensing, insurers would lower premiums for newly qualified young drivers although this is not mentioned in the report itself. PACTS believes that it is also important to improve the quality of learning and tuition for this age group and to improve the driving test to bring it into line with the Goals for Driver Education model proposed in recent European research reports. Rather than Graduated Driver Licensing perhaps we should be considering the concept of Quality Driver Learning.

Crown Prosecution Service Consultation

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has issued a consultation document on guidance on charges arising from driving incidents. The consultation closes on November 8.



Rail Safety Performance – September 2012

The Rail Safety and Standards Board has published the following:

September 2012, Summary of Safety Performance report

The SPAD Cat A and TPWS report for Q1 2012/13 (full report)

The Overview

The monthly SPAD Cat A and TPWS Report for September 2012



National Road Safety: Performance and Progress

Road Safety Analysis has published a new report on local authority performance and progress in road safety. It analyses both the risk to residents and to road users, showing how recent road safety performance differs significantly across the country.

Social Factors in Road Safety

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has published a new report on social factors in road safety. The report argues that efforts to cut the numbers of people killed or injured on UK roads need to focus as much on social factors as safety education. The policy paper looks at how issues such as where people live, how much money they have and their family circumstances can impact on their likelihood of being involved in a road accident.

Work related road safety

Commissioned by the Metropolitan Police, TRL has published a new report looking at the gaps in developing a national standard for work-related road safety.



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.

November 2012: The Centre for Automotive Safety Research at the University of Adelaide has published a report looking at fatal and non-fatal crashes in South Australia entitled “The Relative Contribution of System Failures and Extreme Behaviour in South Australian Crashes“.

Taking a safe systems approach, the report looks at the breakdown between extreme behaviour (drivers deliberately breaking the law), illegal systems failure (road users not complying with the law fully but where  better system design could have made a difference) and system failure (where better design would have led to prevention). In fatal crashes, 43.4% of drivers were involved in extreme behaviour whereas in non-fatal metropolitan injury crashes, 86.8% of drivers were involved in an incident attributed to system failure.

As we develop a more systematic approach to injury prevention, this taxonomy helps us to understand more about the behaviours on our roads and the most appropriate solutions for them. It would be interesting to see its theoretical framework applied in Great Britain.




Government response to Transport Committee report on road safety

The Transport Committee has published the Government’s response to its recent report into road safety.

Launching the special report, Louise Ellman, Chair of the Transport Select Committee said,

“The DfT has wasted an opportunity to demonstrate focus and leadership on road safety. Generalised talk about everyone playing their part to bring road casualties down should not be allowed to hide central government’s responsibilities to keep local authorities, the police, other agencies and the public fully focused on delivering significant and sustained improvements in road safety.

“I am particularly disappointed that the Government hasn’t accepted the committee’s recommendation to initiate an independent review of driver training, especially given the high casualty rate for young drivers.

“The government claims that we are seeing faster reductions in casualties in the 17–24 age group than for drivers as a whole, but with 4,894 people killed or seriously injured in reported accidents involving young car drivers in 2011, including 1,552 young car drivers themselves, too many young people are still suffering on our roads every year.

“Further proposals to improve the safety of young drivers are promised in the next few weeks and we will want to look very closely at any such measures.

“We will also be watching closely over the coming months to see if the Department provides significant pro-active leadership in other areas of road safety not least that relating to cyclists and motorcyclists.”



Criminal Justice System

Date: October 17, 2012

Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes) (Con)

“Today, I would like to talk about vulnerable road users who are victims in our system. We need changes right the way through the system, from how cases are investigated, to charging standards and the involvement of victims and to sentencing.”

Read the whole debate here



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 22nd October

Motor Vehicles: Testing

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether vehicle testing is regarded as a sovereign matter by the European Union. [122672]

Stephen Hammond: The European Commission in proposing a regulation about roadworthiness tests states that ‘Roadworthiness is a sovereign activity’. The Commission proposes a regulation because it considers the implementation by member states of technical requirements set at an EU level has led to a high diversity in requirements with negative impacts both on road safety and the internal market.

The HoC Scrutiny Committee have referred the proposed legislation for a debate on a Reasoned Opinion which questions the justification by the EC for this approach in respect of competence to act at a supranational level.

The Department intends to challenge strongly any provisions that imply costs for Government, the public or industry.

PACTS comments: The EC proposals are available here

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a position paper on the EC proposals: 

EC proposals on including powered two or three wheelers (motorcycles and mopeds) and light trailers (under 3.5 tons) in road worthiness testing, and of changing the minimum standards for frequency of MOTs (to 4-2-1 for cars),  would not affect private GB motorists. 


Roads: Safety

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what safety rating system for the UK roads network is used by his Department. [124611]

Stephen Hammond: The Department does not have a safety rating system for the UK roads network but takes note of the output from the work done by the Road Safety Foundation and European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP) to assess the risks associated with the UK roads network.

PACTS comments: EuroRAP’s 2012 results for Britain have recently been published and although there has been an improvement in road risk, it is important to note that not all roads are improving at the same speed.



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