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PACTS urges government to tackle 30,000 deaths and serious injuries on UK roads each year

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The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has released a manifesto urging the government to tackle road deaths and serious injuries in the UK.

30,000 people are killed or seriously injured on UK roads every year. This equates to a societal and economic cost of £43.5 billion.

Signed by 30 road safety organisations, the manifesto outlines four strategic priorities that PACTS is asking the next UK government to adopt within its first 100 days of office. 

“The fact that five people die every day on UK roads with more than 30,000 individuals killed or seriously injured annually is completely unacceptable,” PACTS Executive Director Jamie Hassall told Zag Daily.

“Reduction in road fatalities have flatlined in the UK in the past decade, and from being a leader in road safety we are now lagging behind.”

Strategic priorities explained

The strategic priorities outlined in the manifesto include the development of a National Road Safety Strategy. This involves implementing a Safe System Strategy which focuses on prevention, protection and post-collision response, and should be coupled with safety performance indicators and evidence-based targets.

PACTS also calls for the establishment of a Road Safety Investigation Branch which analyses road incidents and provides insights into preventing a repeat.

The introduction of Graduated Driver Licensing is outlined which is a progressive licensing system used to support young drivers by limiting high-risk driving situations. 

“Evidence shows that in other countries which have supported young drivers through the transition from being a learner, by initially limiting their driving in the riskiest situations, death and serious injuries have been reduced by between 20% and 40%,” said Hassall.

“In the UK in 2022, 4,935 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes involving at least one young driver. Addressing that alone should be a manifesto priority to all political parties. Committing to all four would revolutionise road safety.”

The fourth strategic priority is adopting Advanced Vehicle Safety Regulations which mandates technologies such as Automatic Emergency Braking and Intelligent Speed Assistance.

One signatory of PACTS’ manifesto is the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

“Road safety has been sidelined by successive governments. Every election is a chance to make it a priority again,” said Richard Cuerden, Director of the TRL Academy. 

“We know from years of research – paid for out of the public purse – exactly what needs to be done to reduce the economic impact from lost lives and lost working time following road collisions. And yet nothing has changed in decades and the needless deaths continue, as if this is perfectly acceptable.

“In this manifesto we’ve highlighted the four most important actions, the ones that will make the biggest difference to this public health emergency. But it will need brave leadership and public consultation to make it happen. 

“We want our children and our grandchildren to be able to point to 2024 as the year that the UK pivoted to thinking it should be normal to expect all journeys to end with a smile.”

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