The Department for Transport has produced a crucial document: “A Safer Way: Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World” which will be the basis of future national “road safety” policy after 2010. Our response to the consultation document is here: the DfT have also kindly allowed us to post the document (with our comments inserted in the text) on our site here.
As this document is of such central importance, it is important to be aware of it. For us, there is one significant move in the right direction (the adoption of the “rate-based” target for cyclists and pedestrians); one or two other minor improvements; a few things we are more or less sympathetic too – and the rest is the same old, er, same old. (Who says we can’t be polite?). We are basically opposed to a fundamentally flawed approach to understanding what danger on the road is – and what to do about it – throughout “A Safer Way”, specifically, the continued:
* Failure to properly define “safe roads” (allowing, for example, more hazardous environments to be defined as “safer”).
* Denial of adaptive behaviour (risk compensation) by road users.
* Inability or refusal to differentiate between endangering or killing/hurting others on the one hand, and being endangered or killed/hurt on the other.
* Failure to approach the standards of other relevant safety regimes and oppose rule and law breaking driver behaviour.
* Commitment towards unsustainable transport policy and car dependence.
In fact, it shows just how far away government is from grasping what road safety policy should be about, and why the RDRF is needed. So do have a read of it and our response.