Local authorities asked to “make road safety count” in the face of cuts


The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is urging local authorities across the country to keep road safety in mind in the face of potential further substantial cuts to funding.

Ahead of the Spending Review later this month (November), RoSPA, and a number of other organisations, has produced Making Road Safety Count, a guide for senior decision-makers in local government and other agencies on how to get the most cost-effective use from decreasing road safety funds, to protect their local communities.

One of the greatest threats people face in their day-to-day lives is the risk of being killed or injured on the roads. In 2014, the number of people killed in reported road crashes increased by four per cent – the first such rise in a decade – and the figure may continue to increase as the economy improves and traffic levels rise.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “Local authorities have statutory duties to provide road safety, including taking steps to reduce and prevent accidents, promoting road safety, and securing the safe movement of traffic and pedestrians. They are already struggling with the very real challenges of assessing the most effective way to allocate smaller budgets across the full range of local government activity.

“Road crashes and casualties cause immeasurable loss and trauma, and impose a huge burden on our local services, causing a significant proportion of A&E attendances and hospital admissions, as well as massive costs on local authority, police and fire and rescue services.”

Graham Feest, chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, said: “Making Road Safety Count has been produced to show how this toll can be reduced by providing cost-effective road safety programmes that are:

  • Informed by local data and evidence, and prioritise high risk groups and areas

  • Based on a Safe System approach

  • Planned and delivered in partnership with other agencies, and in consultation with local people

  • Evaluated to assess effectiveness and identify improvements

“It is also intended to demonstrate the value of providing effective road safety services, and to encourage local authorities to protect road safety spending as much as possible in the current economic climate.”

Effective road safety saves lives and prevents (often life-changing) injuries, and enables people to live healthy and full lives. It reduces the burden on over-stretched public services, such as health and social care, helps to tackle health inequalities and supports other public policies, such as helping and encouraging people to walk and cycle in a safe and attractive environment.

Making Road Safety Count has been produced by a sub-group of RoSPA’s National Road Safety Committee, comprising AIRSO, PACTS, British Motorcyclist Federation, CTC, London Road Safety Council, IAM, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, and RoSPA.

It can be downloaded from www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/practitioners/making-it-count.pdf

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