Time to set national road safety targets

Posted on June 15th, 2015 by GEM Motoring Assist

ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is calling on the UK Government to learn from Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s example in using tough targets as an incentive to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on roads nationwide.

GEM chief executive David Williams MBE commended the efforts of the Mayor and Transport for London. “Latest figures show London has met its previous target of a 40% road casualty reduction six years early. It’s particularly encouraging to note that London achieved a 12 per cent reduction in cycling casualties, in spite of huge increases in the number of people getting on bicycles.

“The new target, which aims to halve road casualties by 2020, shows how seriously road safety is taken in London. It may be tough, but it will serve to guide the work done by all those organisations involved.

“Tough targets, backed up by robust action plans, should be at the heart of a national road safety strategy. We urge the new UK government to waste no time in taking a leaf from the book of Boris, their new member for Uxbridge, in spearheading an equally worthwhile plan for the country as a whole.”

Targets at a glance:
• Road casualty reduction targets were introduced by Conservative roads safety minister Peter Bottomley in the 1980s.
• They are credited with galvanising effort across the board to drive down deaths and injuries on the roads.
• Inherited by the incoming Labour government in 1997, they became a central part of its road safety policy.
• However, they were abolished in May 2011 under transport secretary Philip Hammond.
• There is a Europe-wide target of halving the number of people killed  in road collisions by 2020.