A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at PACTS. We wish you all safe and comfortable travel during this time of year!
Department for Transport
Road safety minister Andrew Jones MP has said that the Department for Transport (DfT) may publish its Road Safety Statement very soon. No date has been announced but we understand it may be imminent. The National Cycling and Walking Strategy and budget will follow by Summer 2016.
The DfT is consulting on its Motoring Services Strategy: a strategic direction 2016-2020. This includes proposals for a refundable deposit in addition to the driving test fee, in order to encourage learners to take additional lessons before attempting the test.
The DfT has made an official announcement on its settlement in the 2015 Spending Review. This includes the allocation of £300 million to be spent on cycling over the lifetime of this Government.
The Think! team has launched a new Drink-Drive campaign in time for Christmas, the adverts highlight the increased risk (double) of a fatal collision after a second glass of alcohol.
The DfT has just published TRL’s Provision of Telematics Research report on the impact of telematics on road safety risks for young, novice drivers in particular. It found that conclusive data were not available and a larger study is to follow.
The DfT also released Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain, provisional estimates: April to June 2015 which showed a 7% decrease in KSIs compared with the previous year.
Transport Select Committee
Oral evidence sessions for the Road Traffic Law Enforcement inquiry were completed on 7th December with the Committee questioned Rt. Hon Mike Penning, Minister for Policing, Crime and Criminal Justice and Victims (Home Office) and Andrew Jones MP, Roads Minister (available here). PACTS Executive Director David Davies gave evidence on 23rd November (available here).
The Committee has also announced inquiries into the Road Haulage Sector: Skills and Workforce Planning and the safety and operational aspects of All lane running on motorways.
The European Parliament voted in new EU safety standards on HGV mirror requirements, soon to be introduced across Europe. For the first time in the UK it will be mandatory for all newly registered vehicles to have the improved mirrors.
The European Commission has released a report on a Study on good practices for reducing road safety risks caused by road user distractions. The report addresses risk associated with in-vehicle technology.
The 2nd Global High Level Conference on Road Safety in 2015 took place on the 18 and 19th November; hosted in Brasilia by the Government of Brazil. This is the second time in history that government ministers and their key decision-making partners from nearly every country convened to discuss road safety.
Attendees from the UK included PACTS’ Parliamentary Officer, Jim Fitzpatrick MP (Limehouse & Poplar); PACTS’ Director Jeanne Breen; Richard Cuerden from TRL and Amy Aeron-Thomas from RoadPeace.
Working Together to Reduce Suicide in Transport
Chief Executive of Samaritans, Ruth Sutherland, delivered the PACTS 26th Westminster Lecture on Transport Safety Working Together to Reduce Suicide in Transport in the Palace of Westminster. Ruth described their successful partnership with the rail sector which has prevented an estimated 1000 deaths in five years. She highlighted the need to also tackle suicide on roads, which number in the hundreds, although [remarkably] there are no comprehensive statistics.
The lecture was opened by Claire Perry MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, and Ian Stevens of Network Rail commented on behalf of the rail sector. There was an excellent turnout of MPs and Peers, as well as other PACTS members. Details are available on the PACTS website.
New research: Lowering the drink-drive limit
PACTS and the RAC Foundation have published a report from Professor Richard Allsop, Saving Lives by Lowering the Legal Drink-Drive Limit, which estimates that 25 deaths and 95 serious injury casualties would be avoided each year if the limit in England and Wales was reduced to that which applies in Scotland.
PACTS and Direct Line have released the second issue of the Parliamentary Constituency Road Safety Dashboard. This focuses on KSIs and updates the dashboard with 2014 casualty data, pedal cyclist casualty rates and ‘regional index’ comparisons. Constituency summaries were sent to all GB MPs.
Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (an All-Party Parliamentary Group)