Getting Back on Track
In Great Britain road deaths have flat-lined since 2010. While the international goal is to halve road deaths each decade, reducing towards zero by 2050. If we had kept on track more than 2,500 more families would not have faced the sudden loss of a loved one and more than £10 billion in societal loss would have been prevented.
Getting Back on Track means taking effective action to reduce serious road deaths by at least 4% annually through a combination of safer road use, safer vehicles and safer roads. A new report from The Road Safety Foundation shows that in the 6-year period Britain suffered more than 10,000 deaths and 100,000 serious injuries.
Important steps have been taken. In 2015, the Department for Transport recognised the need to manage the risks on roads in the same way as in rail, aviation, factories, medicine or mining through introducing Safe Systems. Highways England and Transport for London have committed to moving towards zero harm by 2040.
In 2017, the government launched an innovative Safer Roads Fund to enable English road authorities to tackle the 50 most dangerous ‘A’ road sections. The £100 million investment is expected to prevent around 1,450 fatal and serious injuries over its economic life with a societal benefit more than four times greater than its cost. If sustained, it is a huge step forward in ensuring known high risks are identified and treated before people are killed or hurt.
The report which is available here identifies 40 persistently higher risk roads which must be addressed with urgency. The cost of tackling this immediate portfolio is estimated to be just under £75 million. Further sustained annual expenditure of £75 million per year over the next 5 years could address the appalling rate of road accidents.