New national strategy calls for vulnerable road users to be put first

11/10/2018

The needs of vulnerable road users including pedestrians, cyclists, children and older people must become a priority in local planning processes if the level of road deaths and serious injuries is to be addressed, according to a new strategy.

Today (October 11), RoSPA publishes Safe and active at all ages: a national strategy to prevent serious accidental injuries in England. Among its recommendations on road safety, the document calls for particular attention to be paid to lower speeds in built-up areas, and the promotion of active travel as a positive option.

It also calls for pedestrian training for children at Key Stages 1 and 2, the collection of work-related road accident statistics and help for employers to manage occupational road risk, the promotion of self-assessment tools to enable older drivers to stay on the road safely for longer, and action on young driver safety.

The strategy, which has been developed by a wide range of partners including Public Health England and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, seeks to address the rising number of accidental deaths in England and the heavy toll these place on the health and social care services, as well as the personal heartache that serious unintentional injury can cause.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s chief executive, said: “Other areas of accident prevention have much to learn from road safety, which has had nationally-led strategic approaches to injury reduction. In recent years, however, the decline in road deaths and injuries that we saw over previous decades has stagnated, meaning we need to also take new and more effective approaches to accident prevention on the roads.

“The strategy clearly sets out how government departments and other stakeholders, such as local authorities, developers, businesses and schools, can harness principles of good engineering and safety education to play their part in protecting life and limb on the country’s roads, while promoting active travel.”

The strategy aims to achieve a step-change in the delivery of evidence-based accident prevention programmes across England, promote safe and active lives and reduce the burden of serious accidental injury on society.

Its 25 recommendations for action address the major dangers faced by people across their life course, from birth to older age, and wherever they may find themselves – in their own homes, at work, in education, on the road, or during leisure pursuits.

Representatives of the following organisations participated in the National Accident Prevention Strategy Advisory Group, under the chairmanship of the Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell: Public Health England; Association of Directors of Public Health; Blackburn with Darwen Council; Faculty of Public Health; Institute of Health Promotion and Education; Institute of Health Visiting; Royal College of Emergency Medicine; Royal College of Nursing; Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health; Royal Society for Public Health; University of Nottingham; and University of the West of England. Contributions were also made by RoSPA’s national committees, including the National Road Safety Committee.

To read the strategy, and to find out how you can support the reduction of serious accidental death and injury in your community, see www.rospa.com/nationalstrategy

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