Road Safety: a new road map is announced

Ashfords LLP welcome the Government’s new policy paper on road safety. Published on 19 July 2019, the Department for Transport sets out the Government’s ambitions and proposals for the next two years.


To reduce the number of people killed and injured on roads. After publication, the (now) erstwhile Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but we are not complacent and continue to look at how we can make them safer.”


The focus will be on four “vulnerable” user groups:

  • young road users - including improving the fitting of child seats and pedestrians’ use of mobile phones, young drivers to learn to drive on rural roads and to drive at night.
  • rural road users - The highest number of fatalities on our roads occur on rural roads, particularly among young car drivers aged 17-24. These roads carry 44% of all traffic but are where 33% of all casualties and 60% of all fatalities occur.
  • Motorcyclists - more rigorous Compulsory Basic Training
  • older road users – Roadsafe to be given funds to focus on how to reduce road safety risks for the older drivers

There are 74 proposals. A few highlights are set out below.

  • a continued use of the THINK! Campaign as well as a review of drink driving trends and interventions.
  • commitment to consultation on bringing in laws regarding use of tyres aged 10 years and older from buses, coaches, minibuses and lorries.
  • a new Small Mammal sign designed to make drivers aware of the presence of hedgehogs and other small animals (e.g. squirrels, otters) in the road ahead – it may also have a positive impact on the preservation of wildlife.
  • consideration of the proposal to set up a Road Collision Investigation Branch, which would specialise in learning lessons from serious road accidents.

Ashfords partner Flora Wood welcomes the new Statement:

As a personal injury lawyer, I see, only too often, how avoidable road accidents can result in life changing injuries. There is so much more to be done to improve road safety and this new policy paper works well by focussing on a few key groups.“

“Perhaps the Government could have gone further and set some targets to reduce casualties, or addressed thorny issues such as use of hands-free phones in cars or speed limits? The biggest challenge now will be sharing good practice among the whole driving population.”

For full details click here.

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