The UK government has set out a major package of measures to reduce road death and injury in its new road safety action plan, which aims to improve safety for people at every stage of life, including those who drive for work – currently involved in around a third of crashes that result in injury .
The road safety action plan demonstrates a clear commitment to the elimination of road deaths involving work vehicles, recognising that employers have a major role to play in creating safer roads, by choosing safer vehicles and ensuring their drivers are prepared and motivated to drive safely.
The UK government has committed to work with fleets on a package of measures that includes:
- promoting the Driving for Better Business scheme to fleets;
- support for initiatives to improve vehicle roadworthiness, such as the Tyred campaign, which calls for legislation to enforce tyre age limits on commercial vehicles; and
- consultations on safer truck design to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.
Increased penalties for failing to wear a seatbelt are also being considered.
Road safety experts have welcomed the latest national focus on road safety, as Britain’s road safety record continues to stagnate. The latest Department for Transport figures , published last month, show little change from previous years in the number of people killed and seriously injured on roads.
Ross Moorlock, chief operating officer at Brake, said: “It’s great to see the government demonstrating a clear commitment to improving fleet safety. More than 70 people are killed or seriously injured on British roads every day, a shocking statistic which has barely improved over the past decade, and so a renewed national focus on road safety is long overdue. We know that vehicles used for work are involved in many crashes and cause extensive pollution and we welcome the initiatives outlined in the new road safety plan.”
1. Department for Transport (2019), The Road Safety Statement 2019: A lifetime of road safety, UK government
2. Department for Transport (2019), Reported road casualties Great Britain: Main results 2018