PACTS Newsletter November/December 2013
Places still available for Wednesday 4th December lecture on fatigue in transport. Dr Hunter will address fatigue in road and rail as well as aviation.
Staying Awake, Staying Alive: the problem of fatigue in the transport sector. Dr Robert Hunter, Head for Flight Safety at BALPA will deliver the 24th Westminster Lecture, 4 December, 6pm. Book here. Includes dinner.
Parliamentary safety news
In the most recent Transport Questions held on 7th November the road safety aspect of the debate focused primarily on the recently released Reported Road Casualty Statistics: Quarterly provisional estimates, Q2. In particular, the discussion zeroed in on the increasing levels of drink-driving incidents and rising number of casualties in Q2 2013 compared with Q1 2013 within GB.
John Leech (Manchester, Withington) asked whether the present increases in deaths related to drink-driving revealed a failing in the battle to reduce the number of individuals driving under the influence. Therefore would it not be prudent to tackle the issue of drink-driving by introducing the recommendations of the North Report and reducing the BAC limit.
Mr Robert Goodwill (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State) responded that in many cases European countries with lower driving limits have, as a direct result, developed lower penalties for those caught driving under the influence. He maintained that this potential for reduction could threaten GB’s gold standard penalty system towards drink-drivers and subsequently threaten road safety levels. Additionally, he raised the potential risk of reducing the public’s perception of the seriousness of the offence due to lesser penalties.
Jim Shannon (Strangford) raised questions on the issue of drink-driving and the potential use of the media during the run-up to the Christmas period in order to increase the awareness of the government’s zero-tolerance message on drink-driving.
Mr Goodwill responded that whilst the Government regularly publicised the issue of drink-driving, this was particularly the case during the Christmas period and would continue to remain as such.
Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfield and Labour’s Shadow Minister Responsible for Road Safety) opened up the debate into motorcycle safety and the 4% increase in motorcyclist deaths within the recently released Q2 road casualty statistics. He also highlighted a 12% rise in cyclist KSIs and questioned whether or not it was time for the new Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to ‘put the vulnerable first and introduce clear targets to cut the number of deaths and serious injuries’ of those at risk.
Mr Goodwill agreed that both motorcycling and cycling fatalities and serious injuries were key safety issues for the DfT. In terms of the danger to motorcyclists, he highlighted the Think! Campaign’s current focus on increasing motorcyclists’ awareness of the threats of weather conditions and the Government’s current focusing of its information schemes towards motorcyclists and cyclists in particular.
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North-East) also raised the issue of cycling fatalities and the potential of encouraging the development of segregated cycle paths.
Patrick McLoughlin (Secretary of State for Transport) replied that he recently instructed the Highways Agency to ensure that all future highways schemes were cycle-proofed.
Private Members’ Bills
On the 18th October Graham Evans’ Private Members’ Bill, the Drug Driving (Assessment of Drug Misuse) Bill started its second reading debate. However, the debate was adjourned and the Bill will resume its second reading on 28 February 2014.
On the 25th October Justin Tomlinson’s Private Member’s Bill, the Graduated Driver Licencing Scheme Bill, designed to protect young and inexperienced drivers, was not moved for debate during its second reading in the House of Commons. PACTS’ briefing on the topic of the Graduated Driver Licencing is available here.
Mr Robert Goodwill once again confirmed (on the 24th October at the EuroRAP results launch by the Road Safety Foundation) that the DfT would be publishing a Green Paper on Young Driver Safety by the end of this year.
For Written Questions in the November Period click here.
Other Parliamentary Safety Issues
The Transport Select Committee announced its two newest members, MPs Jim Fitzpatrick (Limehouse and Poplar, Labour) and Chloe Smith (Norwich North, Conservative) on 5th November.
Following their investigation into the matter of Flight Time Limitations, the Transport Select Committee published the Government’s response: Ninth Special Report of Session 2013–14, Flight time limitations: follow up: Government response to the Committee’s Sixth Report of Session 2013–14, on Monday 11 November 2013.
In addition, during the October-November period, the Transport Select Committee held two evidence sessions on the safety of level crossings on 21st October and 4th November with the initial enquiries suggested by PACTS. The committee received evidence from victims, safety authorities and industry bodies (Network Rail and the DfT), PACTS also submitted written evidence to the investigation.
The Select Committee has announced a follow-up inquiry into cycling safety, following the recent spate of 6 cyclist deaths in 14 days in London. PACTS Executive Director David Davies has written to the Mayor of London, calling on him to urgently convene a cycling safety summit.
Government Safety News
DfT has published the Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Quarterly Provisional Estimates Q2 2013. Deaths rose but other casualties declined compared with the same quarter in the previous year. The report stated that:
“Between April and June 2013, 450 people were killed in reported road accidents, 12 per cent more than in the second quarter of 2012. Serious and slightly injured casualties fell by 3 and 8 per cent respectively. These figures resulted in an overall decrease in casualties of 7 per cent. There were decreases in the number of casualties for car users and pedestrians of 12 and 3 per cent respectively, with similar falls in the numbers of KSI casualties – 9 per cent for car users and 7 per cent for pedestrians. However, there were increases in the number of casualties for motorcyclists (4 per cent) and pedal cyclists (12 per cent), with an 8 per cent increase in the number of motorcyclist KSI casualties and a 4 per cent increase in pedal cyclist KSI casualties. It is likely that these increases were at least partly due to the large change in weather conditions between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013.”
On the 7th November a DfT launched a consultation on increasing the weight limits for agricultural vehicles, a proposal which could allow farm workers to transport more goods and enhance the capabilities of modern farming machinery. Additionally, a second consultation seeks views on allowing conventional tractors to travel at 25mph as opposed to 20mph. Both of these consultations are accessible on the DfT website. The consultations close on the 30th January.
The government has launched a public consultation regarding the proposed transformation of the Highways Agency into a government-owned company. Mr Robert Goodwill said that the consultation would inform the final model of the new company and shape the legislation which will empower it from 2014. The government previously announced its intention to transform the Highways Agency in June 2013, accompanied by increased long-term investment into the strategic road network (£28bn) alongside the Action for Roads report.
European safety news
Mr Robert Goodwill attended the 1st Transport Council of the Lithuanian Presidency in Luxembourg on 10th October where the attendees discussed the issues of European railway safety; multi-annual funding of the European Maritime Safety Agency and Flight Delays.
PACTS is pleased to congratulate the European Council for Transport Safety (ETSC) on reaching its Twentieth Birthday. Described by ETSC Chairman, Herman De Croo as marking ‘twenty years of concerted advocacy efforts, both by the ETSC in Brussels and its member organisations throughout Europe’ the Council stressed that the anniversary should constitute a reminder to their dedication to securing transport safety, particularly in the case of road users. PACTS is a founding member of the ETSC.
In other recent news the European Transport Safety Commission released a study evaluating the effects of the implementation of Directive 92/6/EEC on speed limitation devices. The study argues efforts should be made to improve speed management and compliance to speed limits on urban roads which has increase in importance due to the 80% non-compliance record. ETSC Director, Antonio Avenoso, argued that the next significant step of speed reduction was to roll out Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technologies particularly in commercial vehicles in order to secure safer roads through the ‘large-scale introduction of in-vehicle speed management’. Of the stakeholders surveyed as part of the ETSC study, 82% believe that the ISA system should be introduced to commercial vehicles and the ETSC maintain that it should be a key priority action to reach the EU 2020 road safety target of halving road deaths. Mr Avenoso argued that ISA in no way infringed upon the driver’s personal freedom but provided means to prevent drivers from placing other lives ‘needlessly at risk’.
The EU Cross Border Enforcement Directive came into force (though not in the UK) aiming at the creation of what Mr Avenoso describes as ‘a fairer system of following up road traffic offices’. The 7th November marked the deadline for member states to transpose 2011/82/EU which facilitates the cross border exchange of information on road safety traffic legislation into national legislation. This directive has been regarded by many within the ETSC as holding both life-saving potential and vital importance to the enforcement of road traffic laws across the EU. The EC seems to be of a similar opinion to the ETSC, as in its most recent newsletter on road safety, the issue is dedicated to overcoming the barriers to the enforcement of the Highway Code within Europe. The document highlights the ETSC and TISPOL as key partners working with the EC to strengthen the enforcement of road traffic laws throughout the EU.
The 37th Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) meeting took place in Lithuania on the 13th November, discussion focused on the Road Safety Performance Index and the implementation of the EU 2020 Road Safety Target.
We are delighted to welcome two new members of staff to the PACTS team:
- Amy Napthine, Transport Safety Commission & Working Party Manager
- Joanne Mackel, Office & Events Manager.
Sally Le Marquand, PACTS Communication and Events Manager left in November after 8 years with PACTS. We thank her for all her service and wish her all the best in the future.
Jobs at PACTS
PACTS wishes to recruit a Road Environment Working Party Chair (unpaid post). If you are interested in applying, please see website, the deadline for the application has been extended to the 30th November 2013.
The Viscount Simon
PACTS is pleased to congratulate PACTS Co-Chairman, Viscount Simon for being awarded a golden truncheon (officially known as the Joint Central Committee Presentation Piece) by the Police Federation of England and Wales ‘in appreciation of his continued support of roads policing’. This is a particular honour as fewer than 10 have been presented since the first award in 1919.
Additionally, PACTS is pleased to include introductions to its two newest members, Tullow Oil and the Motor Cycle Industry Association.
When Tullow Oil was established in Ireland by CEO Aidan Heavey in 1985 “No one thought Tullow would succeed because of my lack of knowledge of the industry, no major backers and I was starting a company in a country with no oil industry.”
By 2012, Tullow were operating in 25 countries with 1,415 employees, and generating a million driving kilometers a month (the majority of this in Africa, a continent with significant land transport safety issues) – we also have significant risk exposure in the spheres of aviation and marine transport. Tullow are looking forward to working through PACTS to access and engage with the technical experts who have given the UK such a good transport safety record, and taking some of those UK lessons to the countries in which we operate, to make a positive and lasting contribution to those communities. There are parallels between the way in which Tullow Oil have achieved great success when the established wisdom was to the contrary, and the challenges which the UK faces in driving casualty numbers down from already low levels. Like the UK, Tullow have good safety statistics, but we are convinced that we can and will improve them further – and that makes PACTS a natural partner.
Motor Cycle Industry Association
The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) is delighted to re-join PACTS. MCI has always supported the aims and objectives of PACTS, but has in recent years been deeply involved in EC licensing issues and European type approval regulations, both of which have significant safety implications for motorcycling.
MCI’s participation in a recent workshop on motorcycle safety, coupled with the completion of the test review has led the industry to think further about the role of motorcycling in strategic road safety and transport policy. We are looking to Government to develop a more holistic approach to motorcycle safety – as it is doing with cycling – and feel that participation in PACTS activities will help to generate a positive debate in this direction. On 11th of November MCI ran a motorcycle safety conference at the DfT in partnership with ACPO and DfT, details of which are on the website: http://www.mcia.co.uk/About/News
Booking is now open for Brake’s international Speed Congress, taking place on Wednesday 7th May 2014 at London’s Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Early bird rates for bookings made before Friday 28th February.
PACTS, November 2013