July 2013 PACTS Newsletter

July 2013 PACTS Newsletter
 Welcome to the July Newsletter.EVENTS Triple Whammy: Achieving safety, sustainability and health goals in transport 

Event date: Wednesday 16th October 2013

Location: Royal College of Surgeons.


This conference will bring together experts from across sectors to place safety in a wider policy framework by examining synergies with sustainable travel and public health, and exploring practical ways in which more joined-up working can deliver better outcomes.


Speakers include:

Dr Daryl Lloyd, Head of Road Safety Statistics, DfT

Dr David Pencheon, Director, Sustainable Development Unit, NHS England and Public Health England

Yvonne Doyle, Director of Public Health England (London);

Ben Johnson, Senior Road Safety Manager, TfL

Ellen Townsend, Policy Officer, European Transport Safety Council


The conference is being undertaken with support from the Associate Parliament Health Group, Sustrans and Living Streets.


24th Westminster lecture

Event date: Wednesday 4th December 2013

Venue: Church House, Westminster

Dr Rob Hunter, Head of Flight Safety, at the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) will give this year’s Westminster Lecture Staying awake, staying alive: The problem of human fatigue in the transport sector.



As our website is currently being updated, please email Sally Le Marquand, Communications and Events Manager, to book a place at any of our events: admin@pacts.org.uk.






The safest year ever? 


The reported road casualty data for GB for 2012 have just been released. The number of deaths fell to 1,754 – the lowest figure since national records began. Most categories of non-fatal road casualties also fell relative to the previous year and to the 2005-09 baseline. This was echoed across much of Europe. The comprehensive annual report from the International Road Safety Forum found that 2012 had the lowest number of fatalities on record for most OECD-IRTAD countries. British railways also recorded another year of good safety standards, the safest in Europe according to an EC report. Meanwhile, IATA reported that 2012 was the safest year on record for airline passengers: there were three fatal crashes of Western-built passenger jets in 2012, and none of these occurred on any of IATA’s 240 member airlines.


No doubt there will be disputes about the exactness of the figures and their interpretation. For one thing, the number of deaths does not tell the whole story when so many people continue to sustain serious injuries on the roads. And of course, safety is a much broader concept that the absence of death and injury alone. The fear of injury from motor traffic is a deterrent to walking and cycling and to the freedom of children. The casualty figures for cyclists and pedestrians are less impressive and the absence of rate based measures means we have only part of the picture. (This should be clearer when the full results are published in September.)


None-the-less, these figures must be welcomed. The reasons for these significant reductions are several and not all are directly related to safety measures – the economic downturn has played a large part in relation to road casualties – but they are something of which the transport safety community should be proud and which it should celebrate. They show what can be achieved by well-designed and sustained interventions and a safe systems approach. They also show how much more can be achieved, particularly in the field of road safety.



Transport Select Committee to hold inquiry into level crossing safety

PACTS has welcomed the Transport Select Committee’s agreement to hold an inquiry into the safety of the UK’s 8,000 level crossings.


PACTS’ call for the review was one of just seven recommendations among 113 put to the Transport Select Committee to be taken forward for its programme of activity into 2014.


David Davies, Executive Director of PACTS, said, “PACTS is very pleased that the Transport Select Committee has taken up our suggestion to hold an inquiry to safety at level crossings. This will put the parliamentary spotlight on one of most critical areas of rail safety. PACTS will do all it can to support the Committee in this important inquiry.”


David Morris, Former Deputy Chief Inspector of Railways and Chair of the PACTS Rail Safety Working Party, said “Level crossings represent the largest single risk of catastrophic train accidents on Britain’s rail network. In 2012, six people died at level crossing accidents (three in motor vehicles and three pedestrians). This excludes deaths due to trespass or suicide. It is entirely appropriate that the Select Committee should look at this matter.”


 Young drivers 


Breakfast briefing

Last week PACTS held a breakfast briefing in association with Direct Line Group at the Institution of Civil Engineers on the topic of young driver safety. The range and quality of the debate ensured the morning was a useful and timely contribution to the Government’s deliberations on the green paper on young drivers now due to be published in the Autumn.


PACTS would like to thank the speakers on the discussion panel, Jessica Matthew at DfT (stepping in for Stephen Hammond MP), Louise Ellman MP, Tom Woolgrove from Direct Line Group, Iain Greenway from DoE in Northern Ireland and Jonathan Swift from Incisive Media.


Green paper delayed

As announced by Jessica Matthew at the PACTS breakfast briefing, the promised green paper on young drivers is now delayed until the autumn. PACTS is disappointed at this delay, as the paper was originally due in spring earlier this year.


Rural Young Drivers

A new study produced by Road Safety Analysis (RSA) and funded by Michelin Tyre PLC and the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund has revealed young rural drivers are almost twice as likely to be involved in a collision than young urban drivers. The study shows that where young people live and learn to drive can make a worrying difference to their risk factor with young rural drivers 44% more likely to be involved in an injury-causing collision.




New reviews on the Road Safety Observatory

Two draft reviews, which are currently waiting to be reviewed, have been added onto the Road Safety Observatory. They are “Eyesight and Driving” (Drivers) and “Tyres” (Vehicles).



THINK! Child and Teen Resource Centre


The new THINK! Resource Centre has been launched, and includes lesson plans and packs, activities and teaching resources for teachers, road safety officers and those working with children to promote road safety amongst children and teenagers.




Conspicuity aids and cyclists

This study was designed to assess the effect of conspicuity aid use on the risk of crash for commuter and utility cyclists. A slightly greater proportion of cases than controls reported using conspicuity aids. There was therefore a raised odds ratio of collision crash involvement for those using conspicuity aids even after adjustment for a large number of important confounders. The study results do not demonstrate a protective effect as expected given previous work testing the effects of such aids on drivers’ awareness of cyclists and pedestrians. This study demonstrates the importance of understanding why many cyclists remain at risk of collision crash resulting in injury despite the use of conspicuity aids.







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.


Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide is a basic reference to assist in selecting effective, evidence-based countermeasures for traffic safety problem areas.


The guide describes major strategies and countermeasures, summarizes their use, effectiveness, costs, and implementation time, and provides references to the most important research summaries and individual studies.







Ministerial Statements


Motoring Services Strategy

Date: June 20, 2013

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Stephen Hammond): The Department for Transport is committed to delivering better quality and better value motoring services to the public and business. I am therefore pleased to announce today that a new single agency will bring together the testing and standards services that are currently provided by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). These services will be delivered by the two agencies under a single chief executive and transitional board from July this year.



EU Transport Council

Date: June 17, 2013

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Stephen Hammond): I attended the final Transport Council of the Irish presidency in Luxembourg on Monday 10 June.


Transport Council agreed general approaches on five proposals: the interoperability of the rail system; roadworthiness roadside inspection and the associated vehicle registration measure; occurrence reporting in civil aviation and marine equipment.



Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee

Date: June 12, 2013

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Norman Baker): The Government’s review of non-departmental public bodies in 2010 recommended that the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) should be abolished as part of wider goals to improve efficiency, effectiveness, economy and accountability.

Motoring Offences (Fixed Penalty Levels)

Date: June 5, 2013

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Stephen Hammond): In June 2012 the Government consulted on increasing the fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences and making careless driving a fixed penalty offence. The Government have today published their response to this consultation.





Drones: Code of Conduct

Date: June 26, 2013

Question for Short Debate

7.23 pm

Asked by Lord Judd


To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in preparing a code of conduct for the civilian and military use of drones operating from the United Kingdom; and what negotiations they advocate for an international code.



A120 (Colchester)

Date: June 4, 2013

4.15 pm


Mr Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex) (Con): I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to debate this issue and thank the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Lewes (Norman Baker), for being present to reply.


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 in June:


Driving Under Influence


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of television campaigns in preventing (a) drink driving and (b) drug driving. [160064]


Stephen Hammond: We evaluate all campaigns we run to ensure they are effective, that we continually improve performance; and that we ultimately deliver a return on investment and value for money for the taxpayer. We set key performance indicators prior to each campaign and measure these before and immediately after the campaign runs.


Not all of our campaigns involve TV, instead we focus spend on the channels that are most efficient in reaching our target audience and most likely to change behaviour.


The Department has run drink drive campaigns for over 30 years. During this time our campaigns have helped to change attitudes and make drink-driving socially unacceptable. For example, since our current personal consequences campaign launched in 2007, the percentage of young men agreeing that it is extremely unacceptable to drive after two pints has increased from 51% to 61%. We have also increased consideration of the personal consequences of a drink-driving conviction—agreement that being caught drink-driving would change my life dramatically has increased from 73% to 91%.


Over the last 30 years drink drive casualties have fallen significantly. It is difficult to separate out the impact of drink drive campaigns from other factors such as enforcement, but econometric modelling the Department commissioned estimates that 30 years of drink drive campaigns has saved 2,000 lives, prevented over 10,000 serious injuries and created a value to society of £3 billion.


Drug drive campaigns have run less frequently. The last campaign ran in 2009 and included TV advertising. Following the campaign, we saw positive shifts in some key performance indicators. For example, the percentage of the target audience who agreed the police could detect a drug driver if stopped increased from 78% to 83%.


Our THINK! communication campaigns are only one part of our road safety work. We’re introducing a new drug driving offence through the Crime and Courts Bill. It will be an offence to drive a motor vehicle if you have certain controlled drugs in your body in excess of the limits set for them.


The new drug-driving offence will improve the law available for tackling the problem of drug-driving and we plan to support this when it’s introduced with a further communications campaign.







TISPOL Conference 2013 – booking now open

1 & 2 October 2013

Radisson Blu Airport Hotel, Manchester Airport



Tracking the safety performance of Britain’s motorways and A roads 

For the 11th consecutive year, the Road Safety Foundation will launch its annual EuroRAP results on the safety of Britain’s roads on Thursday 24 October at a breakfast briefing in the House of Lords hosted by the Lord Dubs of Battersea.  The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, has accepted an invitation to make a keynote address at the meeting.


Places are very limited and if you would like an invitation to this event, please contact brenda.king@roadsafetyfoundation.org



Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators

18th July 2013, Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome

The Institute is pleased to advise of its forthcoming Crash Day, at which six High Speed collisions are planned,in order to test the presently accepted relationship between deformation and velocity change.

For further information, please contact Ian White at events@itai.org.





Keep up to date on transport safety news on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pacts 


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.

Copyright © 2013 Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety
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