Road safety

Removing road safety targets could increase accidents says IET

More road traffic accidents could occur with the removal of road safety targets, the IET has warned.

Europe's largest organisation of engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) says the decision of the Department of Transport to shift from its former targets based programme to an outcomes framework could lead to a loss of focus and lead to more accidents in different parts of the country.

“Long term targets are proven to produce results leading to less deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” explained Professor Phil Blythe, chairman of the IET Transport Policy Panel.

“The local accountability basis of the framework is a good approach to take, however, smaller authorities will, because of cuts, be unable to maintain any road safety targets at all.

“This will result in a postcode lottery where people in some areas will be safer on our roads than others.”

The engineering body is submitting evidence to the Transport Select Committee highlighting the results achieved from the government's Strategic Framework for Road Safety ‘Tomorrow’s Roads – Safer for Everyone’.

The framework set ten-year casualty reduction targets that started in 2000, which the IET says were exceeded and led directly to a fall in road deaths of 48 per cent due to the impetus this forced on local authorities to create road safety partnerships.

It is citing analysis by the OECD, which shows that countries with targets performed better, and had on average 17 per cent fewer fatalities than countries without targets.

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