PACTS report fears road casualties could rise.
March 8, 2011 Leave a comment
Budget cuts threaten to reverse road casualty reduction and Britain should be braced for a possible increase in the number of road deaths because of cuts to the road safety budget and traffic growth caused by economic recovery.
Nine out of ten road safety professionals think reduced spending is going to harm road safety projects and over half believe a loss of expertise will mean there will be no further falls in the number of casualties. When asked for their more detailed opinion a number of respondents wrote that they feared the amount of those killed and injured could actually rise. These are amongst the findings of a report called Tackling the Deficit, Where Next for Road Safety compiled for the RAC Foundation by PACTS (the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety).
In the wake of the Comprehensive Spending Review, PACTS surveyed in detail 50 road safety professionals working for local authorities, police forces, UK Fire and Rescue services, academic bodies or consultancies. As a result of budget cuts, councils have already reported examples of: ·
Cutting road safety engineering spending by 60-80%
Abolishing or reducing the number of lollipop men and women
Switching off speed cameras
Reducing road safety education programmes including those aimed at pedestrians and cyclists.
The report concludes it is vital that government sets out a firm strategy for road safety over the next decade in its forthcoming Strategic Road Safety Framework. The previous ten-year plan came to an end in March 2010. A strong commitment from central government to preventing death and injury on the roads will encourage councils to spend a fair share of their reduced budgets on cutting casualties rather than diverting it to other services which they believe better reflects the view in Whitehall.