The European Transport Safety Council have released their 13th Annual Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) Report in June, which highlighted that 70% of those killed or seriously injured on urban roads in European cities are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Although urban road deaths have decreased, it is half the rate of those on rural roads over the same period.
The report highlighted the need to encourage more vulnerable road users onto the roads by building safety measures, one of the key challenges will be around reducing speeds and developing safe and convenient walking and cycling infrastructure.
Dovilė Adminaitė-Fodor, the lead author of the report commented “As long as people don’t feel safe walking and cycling in our towns and cities, many will be discouraged from using the most sustainable modes of transport. This can create a vicious circle because people who take the car instead put all the vulnerable road users around them at greater risk.
“Over the next ten years, we want to see the EU and all European countries investing in urban transport in a way that prioritises the most vulnerable road users. This is not just about safer infrastructure and setting safe speed limits but also better enforcement of speed limits as well as reducing drink driving and distraction.”
The UK government have recently announced that they have commissioned a review on roads policing which will be jointly funded by the Department of Transport (DfT) and Highways England, to look at how policing of our roads currently works and what improvements can be made to fill any gaps identified.
This review will take two years, and will look at what is already working, but also what could work better. A pilot programme based on the review and consultation feedback could begin next year, looking to test out new initiatives to see what works best in reducing casualties on the road.
It will consider how to best police rural and urban roads, and the strategic road network. The DfT has also invested in the development of roadside breathalysers which will allow road users to be tested on the road with a reading that can then be used in court, rather than having to go to a police station for a test.