To reduce road deaths and injuries by supporting and encouraging partnerships between the motor industry and related companies, traffic engineers, the police, public health authorities and road safety professionals to promote the safe design and use of vehicles and roads by sharing knowledge and encouraging innovation.
RoadSafe was established in 2002 as a safety partnership of leading companies in the motor and transport industries in Britain, the government and road safety professionals. It aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused on the road and promote safer road use. RoadSafe has a discreet audience – professionals, influencers and decision makers in the field. The primary business objectives set for its initial years were to:
- Build credibility with road safety practitioners, the media and HMG.
- Promote best practice amongst those with a primary concern for road safety.
- Demonstrate the commitment of sponsors to improved road safety.
RoadSafe is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity whose board of directors are its trustees. The charitable objects are:
- To advance the education of the public concerning road safety.
- For the public benefit, to promote road safety through the provision of awards.
RoadSafe is now acknowledged as a leading forum for promoting and devising solutions to road safety problems. We operate at high level, bringing together the leaders in road safety education, engineering and enforcement, encouraging them to work together in partnership with us. We are highly regarded and are actively broadening partnerships further to include representatives from all the major stakeholders. Above all we punch well above our weight.
RoadSafe is unique in that it provides the only UK NGO dedicated solely to road safety in which a wide range of stakeholders can develop a common understanding of issues in this field and through which sponsors are able to demonstrate their commitment to improved safety.
Our strategy has been to build partnerships, coalitions and alliances with other stakeholders in the road safety field to stimulate new thinking and spread knowledge on good practice more widely. This has earned us credibility and recognition for being independent, responsible, well connected and sensible with central and local government, the police, road safety leaders and the roads engineering community.
However with significant technical advances in vehicle safety engineering, a steady year on year reduction in casualties, and the ever increasing budgetary pressure, some sponsors wish to review the role and operational direction of RoadSafe. There is an increased wish for us to be more proactive and to use RoadSafe to demonstrate the industry’s huge commitment to improving road safety in a way that is collectively more effective than the sum of the very valuable and hugely important individual initiatives.
Faced with this challenge and a steadily increasing diversity of sponsors and members this is an ideal opportunity to develop the business plan to meet the new challenges.
Facing New Challenges
Our business plan reflects the need to address the following challenges:
- Effective and acceptable speed management.
- Effective enforcement and appropriate penalties for traffic offences.
- Improved public and personal education.
- Sound primary legislation.
- A greater public understanding of the effects of alcohol and drugs.
- The rapid introduction and use of new vehicles with the latest safety technology
- Road safety at work.
- Reducing the risk to young drivers.
- Improved roads which encourage drivers to drive more safely.
- Not just meeting the targets but beating them.
The Safe System Approach
RoadSafe fully supports the Safe System approach to safety management which sees the road user as the weakest link in the transport chain, unpredictable and capable of error, education and information efforts notwithstanding.
In the event of a crash, the impact energies remain below the threshold likely to produce either death or serious injury.
The approach is central to RoadSafe’s philosophy as it addresses all elements of the road transport system in an integrated way with the aim of ensuring crash energy levels are below that which would cause fatal or serious injury.
Our work programmes will concentrate on encouraging the rapid adoption of technology to reduce crashes and a greater sense of personal responsibility by all road users including the use of travel plans for all ages with an emphasis on those who drive for work.
In priority order we will focus on:
• Road safety at work
• Reducing the risk to young drivers and riders
RoadSafe is a business to business organisation which is there to support the professionals and offers a demonstration of the industry’s commitment to the ‘Systems approach’.
Our approach is to provide professional support with newsletters and a web site, as well as regular appearances at conferences underpinned by full engagement with the DFT road safety staff and government agencies.
Our key audiences will continue to be those who have a professional responsibility for improving road safety and those who influence them. This will include police, road safety officers, researchers and officials at local and national level. It will also include company decision makers especially in the field of road safety at work and the media.
Governance and Organisation
To ensure transparency and aid delivery of the plan, RoadSafe will be reorganised into three business areas each working to promote improved education, innovation, and new thinking:
- Management, Policy and Representation
- Projects and Publicity
- The Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards
RoadSafe has a board of trustees selected from its key sponsors and three independent members.
Policy and technical advice is provided by an advisory panel of road safety experts.
Our main work programmes will concentrate on encouraging the rapid adoption of technology to reduce crashes and a greater sense of personal responsibility by all road users including the use of travel plans for all ages including schoolchildren and those who drive for work.
Our key programmes are:
• Driving for Better Business (DFBB) – network with 7000 businesses led by 50 business champions promoting the business benefits of good management of those who drive for work.
• RS Knowledge – project to support improved availability of good knowledge among professionals.
• Supporting the Global Decade of Action for Road Safety
RoadSafe is a knowledge transfer facilitator designed to demonstrate a commitment by our sponsors and partners to road safety and to involve themselves with professionals by working together to provide a safer road environment. Our core activity will demonstrate this commitment. Our reputation rests on having good communication, with the road safety community and other key stakeholders is essential to RoadSafe. Resources will therefore be concentrated on:
- Developing the web site
- A twice monthly RoadSafe News
- Organising regular expert meetings
- Developing a series of events and conferences in association with partners to promote improved road safety at work.
- Developing a sound relationship with the media
- Through active participation in public road safety events
- Through private influence.
Management, Policy and Representation
The core business activity will be managed directly by the director reporting to the board. The Road Safety Advisory Panel will assist in the development of policy and in the representational task. RoadSafe is represented on the ministerial Road Safety Advisory Panel and works closely with a number of central and local government organisations to promote its key objectives.
Projects and Publicity
The time is now right to increase the number of events organised by RoadSafe. Whenever possible events will be organised in association with partners. This will provide for income generating opportunities to be managed as part of a knowledge management programme. This includes the magazine (see below), the website and the regular e-news messaging. The web site will be developed further to act as a resource for road safety professionals.
Driving for Better Business Campaign. The Motorists Forum recommended to the Secretary of State that a systematic programme should be developed to support ‘champions’ - people who have adopted and benefited from good practice in their organisations and who are prepared to give freely of their time and effort to spread the word to their business peers, by speaking at business networking events and generally reaching out to other organisations with a significant workplace driving activity. RoadSafe has now been appointed by DfT to deliver this programme with grant aid funding. The largest slice of RoadSafe resources has been allocated to this programme.
The Web Site www.roadsafe.com launched in 2000 is now regularly visited and provides an essential tool for communication with interested parties. It is updated weekly with news releases and will be developed further to provide links with sponsor sites and other road safety information sources. Further development of the site to become a ‘portal’ for road safety information will include the addition of a ‘best practice guide’ area and the inclusion of interactive features. Forming network partnerships with other sites will also be pursued.
RoadSafe News. The circulation of our regular e-bulletin RoadSafe News has steadily increased. There are currently in excess of 8,000 subscribers and some 50 to 60 new registrations occur each week. This newsletter is seen as a valuable resource by a wide range of practitioners. It is issued monthly.
Expert Meetings. RoadSafe is able to assemble a large number of experts in a wide range of safety areas. Most of these experts are keen to invest their time in meeting others in their field and to share their knowledge. A number of highly successful ‘expert’ meetings have been held and it is planned to organise three each year, each on current key topics. Such meetings stimulate discussion and assist in the development of thinking. These events bring the experts in a particular field of road safety together with sponsors and other professionals to explore new solutions.
Developing Relationships with the Media. A regular programme of media briefings, broadcast opportunities and one-to-one meetings supported by media releases, commenting on road safety news or events and emphasising what is currently being done by sponsors will remain a regular element of the business. To facilitate this, RoadSafe has developed limited media partnerships. We will also lead four campaigns each year in partnership with the auto industry.
Conferences and Road Safety Events. RoadSafe makes good use of speaking opportunities, support and sponsorship at conferences organised by RoSPA, PACTS, TRL, Road safety GB, IRSO and other bodies. RoadSafe is now well represented at most major road safety conferences. Additionally RoadSafe arranges two expert meetings or debates a year on topical issues.
In partnership with commercial organisations we will also support four local events each year to promote road safety at work.
Support the Global Decade of Action for Road Safety
There is a need to promote good practice among decision makers and road safety experts in the developing world. RoadSafe is working with members of the UN Road Safety Collaboration.
RoadSafe is the first port of call for sponsors for advice and guidance on road safety issues. Although all sponsors believe that it is important to demonstrate a commitment to road safety, it is essential that their commitment is maintained by communicating the value and relevance of RoadSafe. It is therefore essential that our aims, objectives and plans are understood and supported by the key stakeholders. This will be achieved through regular communication activity including:
- The Monthly RoadSafe News which has been re-structured to place more emphasis on core activity and to promote sponsors’ involvement in safety initiatives.
- The development of our website to link with key stakeholders’ safety initiatives.
- A quarterly Sponsor Newsletter outlining activity and the circulation of the minutes of Board and Advisory Board minutes to all sponsors.
- Regular Updates for the SMMT sponsors through the SMMT Public Affairs Committee.
The utilisation of sponsors’ internal communication channels is important in building credibility – e.g. internal staff / customer magazines with pre-written ‘kits’ (pictures, stories, copy etc) on specific issues.
Furthermore it is essential that contact with all key stakeholders is maintained through:
- The Annual Report.
- Regular meetings with sponsors and a regular tel
- ephone round-up with sponsor’s communications teams to identify stories about them and also through the involvement of all sponsors in hosting and supporting events including Awards presentations.
- Placing articles with in-house journals.
Developing the Financial Base
RoadSafe provides a unique opportunity for its sponsors to demonstrate commitment to road safety; above all it also provides an opportunity for them to engage with key influencers in this field and to become actively involved in a holistic approach to casualty reduction.
Underpinning the business is the need to work closely with our sponsors and to develop additional partners. Opportunities are continually sought to develop further sponsors with emphasis on professional highways engineering, component manufacturers, the tyre industry, fuel companies and consumer businesses.