The UK’s Department for Transport has recently presented its new action plan to reduce the number of people killed and injured on UK roads.
The actions target different categories of drivers: fleet drivers, end users, young and old drivers and children, and actually focus on the essentials of road safety:
#1 – Use of seat belts. According to the CDC, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, and cut the risk of serious injury by 50%. Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected during a crash. People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. According to ETSC sources, despite wearing rates of 98.6% for British car drivers, 27% of those who died in cars on the roads in 2017 were not wearing a seatbelt. These and other interesting figures have been published in the recent report “Seat Belts: the forgotten road safety priority”.
The new safety action plan will launch an initiative to increase the use of seat belts. Under the driver safety action plan, failure to wear a seatbelt could result in penalty points as well as fines, under new plans to reduce the number of deaths on the UK’s roads. This is one of 74 actions being considered to improve road safety.
#2 – Drink driving. Other measures under consideration include the use of ‘alcolocks’—devices which measure the alcohol in a driver’s breath and stop a vehicle from starting if the level is too high. The DfT has apparently invested in the development of roadside breathalysers too, which once finished, will enable suspected drink drivers to be tested directly at the roadside, without having to go back to the police station.
#3 – Incident data reporting via app. Part of the two year program taking place to see what works best in terms of strategies and enforcements, so as to maximise road safety at all times, consists in identifying gaps or improvement opportunities. In order to make sure this won’t be an additional burden on local police forces, DfT has rolled out a new version of the Collision Reporting and Sharing software and provided a smartphone app for existing police mobile devices. The app enables officers to accurately report crash data and locations on site, rather than having to return to a police station to duplicate paperwork on a computer.
According to Minister Michael Ellis, “This review will not only highlight where police forces are doing good work, it will show what more can be done to improve road safety.”