Alison at a recent road safety event on Dartmoor
A road safety action plan which makes a number of bold recommendations has been welcomed by Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.
The statement sets out a range of important measures designed to improve road safety for all and particularly vulnerable road users.
In 2017, 1,793 people were killed across Great Britain in road accidents – which equates to 34 people every week. Decades of reductions in road casualties have flat-lined more recently.
Alison, who is the national road safety lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said it was clear that urgent action needed to be taken by Government to turn this problem around.
The plan, released today (Friday, July 19) introduces a number of bold changes including proposals to introduce penalty points for not wearing a seatbelt, graduated driving licences to encourage student drivers to learn for longer and further action to address drink driving by exploring the potential for alcolocks in cars.
The particular safety challenges posed by our many miles of rural roads will also be looked at by a Rural Road Users Advisory Panel.
Alison Hernandez said: “Road safety is the number one issue people contact me about, that’s why it is a priority for me. So I am delighted that the Government has listened to the calls from PCCs and road safety organisations up and down the country and released its updated Road Safety Action Plan.
“We know that some road users and pedestrians, particularly cyclists and inexperienced drivers, are more vulnerable than others so I am pleased the Government is introducing measures that target all road users of all ages.
“In particular I am delighted that the DfT has heard the calls from rural communities such as those in Devon and Cornwall and established an advisory panel to look into what can be done to improve safety of our rural roads. Safety across all of our roads is important but rural roads often do not benefit from the safety features that can be built into larger roads and motorways. A total of 62% of fatalities occur on rural roads.
“As APCC lead for road safety I look forward to working with the DfT and others to support these important improvements.”
The release of the statement follows earlier major road safety announcements including:
- A greater focus on roads policing with a two-year project with the Home Office and National Police Chiefs’ Council to identify best practice and gaps in services to see how policing can be improved
- A Road Collision Investigation project, with the RAC Foundation examining the cause of crashes and if there is a business case for a Road Collision Investigation Branch, which would specialise in learning lessons from serious road accidents
- A competition to develop a roadside evidential-quality breathalyser
- Funds to support police forces to accept video footage from the public of dangerous traffic incidents
This announcement comes days before Alison Hernandez is hosting a meeting of PCCs, police and road safety experts in London.
“As PCCs we have an important role to play in setting Police and Crime Plans and being the voice of local people,” she said.
“I look forward to discussing these new proposals with the minister next week and offering our support to bring about these changes. PCCs have key role to play in bringing local partners together to address areas of community concern. Road safety is a top issue for many of us and it is essential we all act together to reduce the tragedy on our roads.”