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British 2019 Action Plan

19 July 2019

The Department for Transport has set out a major package of measures to reduce the number of people killed and injured on roads.

It includes:

  • an action plan to improve safety for people at every stage of life – from infants in car seats to those with years of driving experience
  • increased penalties for failing to wear a seatbelt - one of seventy-four measures being considered

The respective actions in the plan are focused on the Department's four priority road user groups - Young Road Users, Rural Road Users, Motorcyclists and Older Vulnerable Road Users. There are also several actions for safer vehicles, safer speed and safer infrastructure, acknowledging three other pillars of a Safe System approach.

The action plan is contained in the 2019 Road Safety Statement - A Lifetime in Road Safety which sets out details of actions designed to improve road safety for people at every stage of life – from birth to old age. These include:

For children:

  • a £225,000 grant has been given to Good Egg Safety to deliver a nationally-accredited safety training programme for retailers to help parents correctly fit baby and child seats. It comes after 70% of parents said they didn’t know how to properly install seats
  • a pledge to help improve children’s safety will see research commissioned into whether mobile phone use among young pedestrians leads to an increased risk of road collisions
  • to help those with special educational needs and cognitive disabilities, the government will fund research into road safety support to help children aged 7 to 18 to understand the dangers near roads

For young adults:

  • the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is developing a behavioural change campaign designed to encourage learner drivers to broaden their experience, by using more rural roads and driving at night before taking their test
  • research will look further at the benefits of introducing Graduated Driving Licensing on road safety
  • THINK! will continue reinforcing vital road safety messages through continuous campaigns focusing on drink driving, using mobile phones while driving, speeding, and dangers around passenger distraction

For adults:

  • the government is also investigating whether alcolocks – devices which measure the alcohol in a driver’s breath and stop a vehicle from starting if that level is too high – can reduce drink-driving re-offending as part of rehabilitation programmes in the UK. PACTS has been given £50,000 to review drink driving trends and interventions, which will be completed early next year
  • there will also be a greater focus on roads policing with a 2 year project with the Home Office and National Police Chiefs’ Council. This will identify best practice and gaps in services to see how policing can be improved

For older drivers:

  • RoadSafe is being supported to work with others to to deliver a digital platform to share best practice to reduce road safety risks for older road users
  • The action plan builds on a number of projects in the Road Safety Statement, published in 2015, which saw increased enforcement for drug driving, and doubling penalties for using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel.
  • In other road safety measures, the government is currently consulting on banning tyres aged 10 years and older from buses, coaches, minibuses and lorries. If proposals are supported, new laws could be introduced later this year, ready to come into force early 2020.

A Road Collision Investigation project, with the RAC Foundation, is also ongoing. This is examining the cause of crashes and if there is a business case for a Road Collision Investigation Branch, which would specialise in learning lessons from serious road accidents.

Driving for Better Business' inclusion in this statement is a timely reminder for those who employ people who drive for work purposes to ensure they have taken appropriate measures to reduce occupational road risk: all hazards associated with driving for work.

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