What is an acceptable level of death and injury on our roads?
Latest RRCGB results released by the Department for Transport show that in Great Britain last year 1,711 people died on our roads, while a further 28,031 were seriously injured. Yet GB still ranks among the lowest in the world for road fatalities by population. Bettered only by Japan, Iceland, Sweden and Norway.
➡️ Traffic levels back to pre-pandemic numbers
➡️ 29,742 people killed or seriously injured
➡️ Fatalities up by 2% compared to 2019 by billion vehicle miles travelled
So what is an “acceptable” level of death and injury? If your answer is none, then you’re not alone. Many have been adopting a vision zero approach to eradicate death and injury from our roads, but getting there will need to draw on the participation and expertise of all stakeholders.
As I'm sure you know, we’re a big advocate of the Safe Systems approach to road safety which accepts that sometimes people make mistakes, but it’s the job of the entire system to ensure that they don’t get hurt. There is no silver bullet here, but a systems approach is often compared to Swiss-cheese. If someone falls through one gap, then there’s something elsewhere in the system which will catch them.
A Safe Systems approach towards Vision Zero is arguably the only hope we have of getting there, and we’re already working with various local authorities and National Governments to help them do just that with training, strategy creation and partnership co-ordination.