Now that Parliament has returned from its Conference Recess and as Winter approaches, PACTS has summarised the recent transport safety activities and announcements which we hope will be useful to our readers.
Shadow Transport Ministers
Following the election of its new leader, the Labour Party has confirmed its new Shadow Transport Ministers; they will be headed by the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Lilian Greenwood MP who previously held the position of Shadow Rail Minister.
The new Shadow Rail Minister is Jonathan Reynolds MP; whilst Richard Burden MP has taken on the role of Shadow Minister for the Strategic Transport Network with a brief spanning Highways England, vehicle technologies, road safety and aviation. Additionally, Daniel Zeichner MP will now be responsible for local roads; active travel; local transport plans; parking issues and bus services.
Transport Select Committee
The Transport Select Committee is conducting an inquiry into Road Traffic Law Enforcement which will focus on leadership responsibilities, capacity, new technologies, devolved administrations and the implications of EU policy. Terms of reference are available. The first oral evidence session will take place on 2nd November.
The Transport Select Committee has also announced an inquiry into the Road Haulage Sector: Skills and Workforce Planning to address concerns about a lack of skilled drivers in the haulage sector.
Westminster Hall Debate
On 17th September the Penalties for Dangerous Driving were discussed in a Westminster Hall debate. Proposed by Alok Sharma MP (Reading West) and chaired by Mr Philip Hollobone MP; a transcript of the debate is available on the PACTS website.
UK Parliamentary Questions
An overview of recent UK Parliament written transport safety questions is available on the PACTS website. Topics have included aviation safety; driver impairment; cycling & walking; road signs and markings and road accident statistics. October’s overview will be posted shortly.
Transport Oral Questions took place on 29th October and the next will be on Thursday 10th December (09.30-10.30am).
The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently completed its consultation on Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016. This proposes new traffic sign regulations (see consultation document) and invited new and innovative ideas to reduce traffic sign street clutter.
A DfT consultation on giving the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) powers of enforcement. The DfT believes that by providing a “toolkit” of civil sanctions to the CAA it will enable them to “respond flexibly and proportionately to breaches of aviation regulations”.
The results of the National Travel Survey 2014 were released on 2nd September; they show that between 2002 and 2014 there has been a 12% decrease in the number of journeys made and a 10% reduction in distance travelled. In the journeys surveyed for 2014, 64% were by car; 22% by foot; 7% by bus; 3% by train and 2% by bike.
The Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2014 Annual Report was released on 24th September, providing a more detailed analysis on the road deaths and injuries which occurred on Great Britain’s roads in 2014.
Rail Minister, Claire Perry MP, opened the new National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) on 20th October. The new facility aims to train students using the latest digital, 3D and virtual reality equipment in order to provide skills they will need for the rail industry in the future.
The United Nations have confirmed road safety in its post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was officially adopted as part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda (Agenda 2030) and announced during the UN Sustainable Development Summit held in New York (25th-27th September). Goal Three of the new agenda is “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” which includes as a subsection “By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents”. The UK Government supported these moves.
There will be further detailed discussion of how to achieve these goals at the 2nd Global High Level Conference on Road Safety, Brasilia, 18th-19th November. PACTS vice-chair Jim Fitzpatrick MP will be attending the High Level Conference and a Side Event which will examine the role of parliamentarians in promoting road safety policies.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has released a briefing on the potential impacts on vehicle safety of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – the joint trade agreement currently being negotiated by the European Union and the United States.
The ETSC PRAISE awards took place on 20th October, recognizing five organisations which had taken outstanding measures to improve road safety at work. The organisations chosen were OMV Petrom; Transport for London (TfL); The Institute for Advanced Motorists (IAM); AstraZeneca; and the Luxembourg Police.
The PACTS conference Managing Road Safety Practice: safe system in practice on local and national roads will take place on Tuesday 3rd November in the Banqueting Suite of Birmingham Council House (Victoria Square, Birmingham B1 1BB). Delegates attending the conference will hear the latest road safety news from the Government; Highways England and local authorities (including Birmingham and Bristol). Over 100 people have already booked. Places are still available here on the PACTS website. The conference agenda, along with details of the speakers are available here.
The 26th Westminster Lecture on Transport Safety will take place on 7th December with guest lecturer Ruth Sutherland, CEO of The Samaritans who will present Working together to reduce suicide in transport. It event will be held in the Palace of Westminster (19.00- 21.30pm). It is an invitation-only event and places are limited. We will operate on a first come first served basis. The event is supported by Direct Line Group.
The recent SMART policies for tackling drink-driving conference held in London on 14th October by PACTS and ETSC discussed policy and practice on education, enforcement, penalties, rehabilitation, alcohol interlocks and other measures to discourage and prevent drink driving. Presentations from the event are available on the ETSC website.
PACTS has published the final version of Road Safety Since 2010, now including 2014 road casualty data. The report, written with input from Road Safety Analysis and published by the RAC Foundation, assesses the changes in road safety policy, resources and casualties since 2010.
The PACTS Constituency Road Safety Dashboard will be updated shortly with 2014 data. It will include cycling casualty figures and enable regional comparisons.
PACTS is also working on the new ETSC project YEARS: Young Europeans Acting for Road Safety. Launched in Brussels on 19th October, YEARS aims to develop a better understanding of the risks that young people (15-25 years) face on the roads in Europe.
PACTS is responsible for the first stage of the project: a policy paper which will assess the current situation in the EU and recommend good practices and effective measures for Member States to adopt. This will be led by our new Senior Research Officer – Laurence Atchison.
Other PACTS News
PACTS has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UK Air Safety Group agreeing to work together and promote air safety.
In Other News…
Research body, Thatcham, has challenged 10 European vehicle manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo) to match their USA pledge to fit autonomous emergency braking systems (AEB) as standard in all cars in Europe as well as in America.
The Launch of Vision Zero UK Conference will take place at Camden Town Hall on Tuesday 19th January 2016 (13.30-17.00). The conference will feature international road safety experts and activists.
The University of Salford will hold The Future of Road Safety Conference: Implementing a Safe Road System on January 22nd 2016 in London. PACTS has been offered reduced price places (£220+ VAT); any PACTS members interested in a place should contact us.
Policy-UK Forum will be holding an event on The UK’s Motoring Future – Driverless Cars, Smart Roads & Implications to Regulation on Thursday, 3rd December 2015 in central London. PACTS members can save 40% on the £250 +VAT standard rate – Register here.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) will be holding a seminar on: Avoiding Railway Catastrophes: A Managed Risk or Safety Complacency? The event will be held in London on the 17th November and further information is available here.