Memorandum by RoadPeace (IT 8)
INTEGRATED WHITE PAPER
RoadPeace is the national charity for road traffic
It gives advice and support to people bereaved
or injured as a result of road crashes. It also lobbies to reduce
danger on the road. It gave evidence to the Transport Select Committee's
Inquiry into Risk Reduction For Vulnerable Road Users. It has
produced a number of publications on different aspects of road
We would argue that, given the political
will, it is not difficult to reduce danger on the roads.
We would argue that, for this to be done, the
forthcoming Road Safety Strategy needs to:
Introduce meaningful targets
The current targetto reduce casualties
by a third by the year 2000is somewhat meaningless as it
does not allow for the reduction in the number of vulnerable users
on the roads. New targets need to be set to reduce casualties,
per mode, per distance travelled.
Properly enforce traffic laws
This has been appallingly lax over the years.
Given the scale of the human carnage on our roads each year, it
makes sense to include traffic policing amongst the Police's highest
Impose deterrent penalties Penalties
are too low. Even if someone is killed on the road, the typical
fine imposed on the guilty party is £250. The 1991 Road Traffic
Act needs revising to allow tougher charges to be brought, particularly
when a death or serious injury has occurred, and so enable more
deterrent penalties to be imposed.
Speed is also a crucial factor in reducing danger
on the roads.
We welcome the review of speed policy. Lower,
more appropriate, speeds would both cut casualties and reduce
danger on the roads. While we welcome the moves to reduce the
drink-driving limit, we believe the facts show that speed is now
the much greater problem and that therefore resources should be
put into this. We welcome the Safe Routes to Schools Initiatives
and the Home Zone Projects.
We welcome the measures to try and increase walking
As has been shown in many parts of Europe, increases
in walking and cycling are achievable without increasing casualties
when transport policy is aimed at reducing the danger posed to
people using these modes of transport.
Finally, we stress the importance of early action
The Government must not delay in implementing
the road safety, or any other section of the White Paper (For
it all is interdependent). There is a clear consensus now amongst
the general public for something to be done about transport. The
Government must seize the moment.
17 September 1998