The UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, strongly welcomes the Government’s call for a review into the policing of UK roads to provide evidence to explain why the number of road casualties has plateaued since 2010.
The call, announced by Baroness Vere of Norbiton yesterday, stated that prior to 2010 the UK had experienced year-on-year reductions in the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads. Since then, further reductions in the number of casualties have not been achieved.
It went on to say that the growing number of driver assistance systems, such as autonomous braking and blind spot assist, have improved road safety. But, at the same time the advancements in vehicle infotainment systems and mobile phone technology have caused an increase in sources of distraction for drivers.
Earlier this year, IAM RoadSmart shared the findings of a study which concluded that the latest vehicle infotainment systems impair reaction times behind the wheel more than alcohol and cannabis use. More on the study can be found here.
Rebecca Ashton, Head of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart said: “IAM RoadSmart strongly welcomes a review of the effectiveness of roads policing in the UK. Our annual Safety Culture Report shows strong support for the enforcement of traffic laws with drink and drug driving in the number one spot.”
“A reduction in dangerous behaviour on our roads can only be gained by driver education and consistent deployment of roads policing backed-up by the best possible intelligence information. The COVID-19 lockdown has demonstrated that criminality and traffic offences are inextricably linked and the best way to deal with this is by ensuring that the police are resourced properly.
“In our view, making roads policing a Home Office priority and a key performance indicator for chief constables and police commissioners, combined with greater emphasis on driver education, would be the most effective ways to achieve this.”
In the UK, on average five people a day were killed* and the number of people killed on the roads each year is more than twice the number of deaths from homicides** with a further 25,000 plus being seriously injured.
*figures based on Gov.uk reported road casualties in Great Britain, provisional estimates: year ending June 2019 – 1,870 reported road deaths. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-in-great-britain-provisional-estimates-year-ending-june-2019
**671 homicides reported for the year ending March 2019 according the Office of National Statistics https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/homicideinenglandandwales/yearendingmarch2019