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Email:suffolkroadsafe@suffolk.gov.uk

Strategy

Road Safety Strategy 2012 – 2022: The aim of the partnership is to make the roads of Suffolk safer for all.  

Download the Road Safety Strategy Review 2012 - 2015

Suffolk's Road Safety Strategy from 2012 to 2022 sets out how the Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership will continue to work to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Suffolk’s roads.  The number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on Suffolk’s roads has significantly decreased over the last 12 years, with a decrease from 479 collisions from the 1994-1998 average to 296 in 2010.  This represents a 38% reduction, despite an increase in the number and distance travelled by vehicles.  It is estimated by DfT that each fatal accident costs over £1.6m.

Over the period 2001 to 2010, the average reduction per year in Suffolk was 19 with some volatility year on year.  The maximum reduction was 71 in 2010.  There was an increase of 68 in 2008.  The relatively low number of KSI casualties in the county, the random spatial distribution of collisions and the variability in numbers of people involved suggests that there may be greater volatility in the years ahead.

In the past safety interventions at the local level included engineering, education and enforcement. Engineering activities have been heavily weighted towards local safety schemes at sites with the greatest KSI collision occurrence over a 3 – 4 year period.  The low numbers of KSIs and randomness in collision occurrence raises a question as to whether this approach represents the most efficient way to prioritise investment, particularly in view of the reduced funding available in the current spending period.

More recently therefore, there has been a move towards a focus on groups of road users.  This will enable an approach to encourage safer travel, and full integration with Suffolk’s Local Transport Plan (LTP) 2011-2031.  The aim of the LTP is to support Suffolk’s economy and future sustainable economic growth and this road safety strategy will complement this by making travel safer and healthier.  This strategy aims to reduce the dominance of motorised vehicles and improve the conditions for cycling and walking, and is an attempt to shift onus of responsibility onto the user of the vehicle that will do most damage, while accepting that all road users have a responsibility for road safety.

Key road user groups

In Suffolk the key groups of concern have been identified as:

  • Motorcyclists - especially those riding bikes over 500cc.  These have a higher proportion of collisions than the proportion of riders.
  • Young drivers/ riders (16-24) - there is a higher proportion of collisions among this group though there are issues related to high youth unemployment and insurance costs that need to be taken into account.
  • Pedestrians (especially school age children in deprived areas) - a vulnerable user group, where perceptions of danger can also mean a reduction in frequency of walking.

Other areas of concern are:

  • Safety of work related driving - including those commuting to work as well as for work purposes.
  • Speeding - this is more about excessive speed and inappropriate speed for the conditions, rather than necessarily going above the posted limit.
  • Older drivers – in a county with an ageing population reliant on private cars to enhance and maintain their existence.
  • Offending drivers – otherwise known as ‘the fatal four’, drink/drug driving, speeding, driver distraction and failure to wear a seatbelt.

In preventing collisions there is not a single solution, but a need to reduce risk to road users and to encourage road users to reduce their own risk of danger to others through long-term measures.  This new approach to road safety does not preclude the 3 E’s of Education, Engineering and Enforcement but merely changes their focus to provide safer communities.

To ensure interventions are targeted in the most suitable and effective way analysis of collisions will consider types of road users involved by mode, sex, age and ethnicity, clusters of collisions in specific geographical areas, and issues of deprivation.  Information will be made available to interested parties via www.suffolkroadsafe.net

 

Interventions