How Road Safety is Important

road safety strategy and action plan and how is road safety club an agent of socialization and how has road safety been improved, how road safety works
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JuliyaMadenta,Philippines,Researcher
Published Date:15-07-2017
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Road Safety Strategy 2013—2020Introduction Introduction Overview The Irish Government and, in particular, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, have set the country the task of making Ireland’s roads as safe as the best performing countries in the European Union and beyond. The target set is for Ireland to close the gap on countries with the 1 most progressive road safety records . This task will be completed by 2020. Significant progress has already been achieved since Ireland first began to pursue a strategic approach to road safety in 1998. Roads deaths are down by 60% (1997—2011) and Ireland is now the fifth safest country in the European Union for road collision fatalities per million population. This achievement may be set against an increase in the number of cars during this period of 66%. This represents a substantial achievement and with the cost benefit of preventing a fatality 2 currently amounting to €2.58m at 2010 prices, represents a benefit to society of €0.75bn per annum . This excludes the costs of injuries, which also impose a heavy cost on society as a whole and the Exchequer in particular, and are conservatively estimated at €0.38bn per annum. The annual savings as a whole are thus in excess of €1bn. Road traffic collisions also cause an additional societal and economic cost, when traffic flow itself is interrupted and congested by such collisions. Robust actions in terms of education, engineering and enforcement have contributed to this reduction in the number of fatalities. These developments are a consequence of and have contributed to a huge shift in both the behaviour of road users and attitudes towards road safety. All previous strategies can be seen as representing a cohesive and substantial commitment to address the very serious level of casualties on Irish roads. Continuity of approach is a cornerstone of the new Strategy and the collaborative and consultative approach which characterised previous strategies will be maintained. 1. Wegman.F. et al, (2010) Benchmarking road safety performance of countries. Safety Science Volume 48 pages 1203—1211 2. Estimate based on accident costs in Project Appraisal Guidelines Unit 6.11: National Parameter Values Sheet, NRA, 2011 Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020 7Introduction Road Safety in an EU Context Although Ireland is now one of the best performing EU countries in terms of road safety, with a developing culture of road safety among the road-using public, there is no room for complacency. Road safety is still a major concern for the people of Ireland. In the most recent SARTRE (Social Attitudes to Road Traffic Risk in Europe) survey, road safety was the second issue that they were most concerned about, behind unemployment but ahead of the crime rate, health care, pollution 3 and traffic congestion . The Government has adopted a highly ambitious vision for road safety in Ireland and for the remainder of the decade, it is their intention to raise Ireland’s road safety performance to that of the best performing countries in the world, and close the gap with countries such as the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden and Australia. And the gap is still 4 considerable . Ireland had approximately 41 fatalities per million population in 2011. These countries are targeting a reduction in fatalities of some 25% by 2020, meaning that they are setting targets in the region of 25 fatalities per million population which corresponds, in the Irish context, to 124 fatalities in 2020. A Focus on Serious Injuries In addition to continuing to reduce fatalities, a number of actions will be taken within the Strategy to refine the definition of a serious injury with a target for doing so. With a target of 124 fatalities by 2020, a realistic target for serious injuries should be in the region of 330 by 2020 or 61 per million population. Reduced fatalities and serious injuries will realise benefits for public health policy objectives, as well as reduced demands on the emergency services. A safer road environment will encourage more road users to walk and cycle, thus improving their wellbeing, reducing congestion and improving the environment. Better driving will reduce fuel costs and transport related emissions which will benefit everyone, especially those involved in business and industry. Road Safety – A Shared Responsibility Road safety is a shared responsibility and it has to be based on co-operation and co-ordination by all the state agencies, the general public and the private/business sector, working together at every level — national, regional, local and community — to develop effective and innovative road safety initiatives and interventions. It is also the responsibility of every road user to ensure their own personal safety on the roads and to make a contribution to the safety of others through responsible road use. A New, Longer-Term Strategic Approach There are no quick wins left. The challenge now is to ensure that the benefits already secured in terms of the reduction in fatalities are maintained and enhanced and that the problem of serious injuries is addressed. With this focus, Ireland is 5 now moving towards a Safe Systems approach to road safety for the remainder of this decade . This approach builds on existing road safety interventions, but reframes the way in which road safety is viewed and managed in the community. It addresses all elements of the road transport system in an integrated way, with the aim of ensuring collision energy levels are below the level that would cause fatal or serious injury. It requires acceptance of shared responsibilities and accountability between system designers and road users. It stimulates the development of innovative interventions and new partnerships necessary to achieve ambitious long term targets. 3. SARTRE4 (2012) European Road Users’ Risk Perception and Mobility 4. Tingvall C. et al (2010.) The properties of Safety Performance Indicators in target setting, projections and safety design of the road transport system. Accident Analysis and Prevention Volume 42 pages 372-376 5. Salmon. P., et al. (2012). Road Transport in drift? Applying contemporary systems thinking to road safety Safety Science Volume 50 1879-1838 8 Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020Introduction The development of the Road Safety Strategy 2013—2020 has taken account of this new approach to road safety and will enable Ireland to continue to play a substantial role in the reduction of collisions across the expanded European Union as a whole, particularly in terms of demonstrating the huge change that can be achieved through focused and inclusive action programmes. This Strategy adopts a longer time horizon than previous strategies. This will bring Ireland into line with the timing of the 6 European Union’s Strategy . This longer term makes it all the more essential to engage in a continuing process of review and adaptation of measures through the lifetime of the Strategy. In this context, provision is made for a mid-term review of the Strategy in 2016. This Strategy will have a stronger foundation in research and analysis, and will use all the data and intelligence available to target resources in areas where they will have the greatest impact on safety, recognising that resources are scarce in the current economic climate. This collaborative approach will bring about a culture change, so that information to guide strategic thinking and to maintain public support is delivered in a streamlined way, without detracting from operational performance. This Strategy also encourages relevant bodies to engage at an international level to ensure that best practice initiatives are implemented here where they are appropriate in an Irish context. State agencies will also participate in EU road safety partnerships such as the European Conference of Ministers of Transport, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), TISPOL (European Traffic Police Network), CICEA (International Commission for Driving Testing), OSHA (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work) and CEDR (Conference of European Directors of Roads) to name but a few. All the measures contained in this Strategy are intended to make the roads safer. The basic assumption in this Strategy is that the objectives can be achieved, without fundamentally changing our mobility system, and within the budgets set aside for the purpose. Our Road to Safety The biggest single success factor in Ireland’s improved road safety performance over the past decade has been the marked change in personal behaviour and attitudes to responsible road user behaviour. The Irish population deserves huge credit for their commitment to and engagement in road safety. The challenge for the Road Safety Strategy 2013—2020 is to avoid complacency, build on the culture that has developed, and ensure that Irish road users continue to engage in saving lives, preventing injuries and making Ireland one of the safest countries in the EU. We can be the best, we can be the safest. Our citizens deserve no less. 6. Towards a European road safety area: policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020. European Union Communication, 2010. Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020 92. Progress and TrendsProgress and Trends Progress and Trends The strategic approach to road safety was first adopted in 1998 and demonstrates how making a substantial, co-ordinated commitment to addressing the very serious level of casualties on Irish roads can contribute to reductions in deaths and serious injuries and an improvement in road user behaviour. In this chapter, we will present an overview of Ireland’s progress during the lifetime of the Government’s Road Safety Strategy 2007—2012 and look at the emerging trends that will inform the objectives of the new strategy. Fatal Collisions and Fatalities Prior to the start of the first strategy in 1997, the number of fatalities on Irish roads was 472. In 2012, there were 162 fatalities, representing a reduction of 65.7%. This achievement may be set against an increase in car numbers of 66% over the same period (Figure 1). Figure 1: Road Fatalities and Fatal Road Collisions 700 640 600 500 472 400 306 300 200 186 162 100 0 Fatalities Fatal Collisions Source: RSA The primary target set for the 2007—2012 Strategy of reducing the number of fatalities to 60 or less per million of the population by 2012 was achieved in 2009 and further positive progress has been made since that date (Figure 2). The reduction in the number of fatalities has been achieved through a number of robust actions under the headings of education, engineering, and enforcement, as well as significant legislative changes in alcohol testing, vehicle testing and sanctions for road and vehicle offences, and the development and upgrade of much of the major inter-urban road network. Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020 11 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012Progress and Trends Figure 2: Fatalities Per Million Population 140 120 100 80 2012 TARGET 60 40 2020 TARGET 20 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Source: RSA Serious Injuries Figure 3 depicts the trend in persons reported seriously injured between 1997 and 2011. During this time, there was a reduction of 36% in the number of people injured. While the target set in the 2007—2012 strategy of a 25% reduction by 2012 has been surpassed, there is a need for further progress. In addition, there is concern that some injuries go unreported. Therefore, it is important to continue to address the issue of serious injuries as they can lead to life-long disability and high costs associated with treatment and care, whilst agreeing a new way of defining a serious injury. Figure 3: Serious Injuries (1997— 2011) 2500 2250 2000 1750 1500 1250 1000 750 500 250 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Source: RSA 12 Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020Progress and Trends Ireland in an International Context Despite the progress made, there is considerable scope for further achievements, particularly in comparison to other countries (Figure 4). Ireland still lags behind the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden. The implication is that much work remains to be done in improving Ireland’s road safety performance and that the successes of the past indicate that further progress can be made, provided effective policies and measures are put in place and supported. Figure 4: European Road Deaths Per Million Population, 2011 Versus 2006 (Reference) 137 Poland 110 146 Greece 96 119 Romania 94 223 Lithuania 92 112 Cyprus 88 135 Bulgaria 88 92 Portugal 84 117 Latvia 80 102 Belgium 78 152 Estonia 75 104 Czech Republic 73 131 Slovenia 69 78 Luxemburg 65 130 Hungary 64 96 Italy 64 77 France 63 88 Austria 62 113 Slovakia 60 63 Finland 54 62 Germany 49 94 Spain 45 27 Malta 41 86 Ireland 41 56 Denmark 40 49 Sweden 34 45 Netherlands 33 55 United Kingdom 30 0 50 100 150 200 250 2006 2011 Rate Per Million Population Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020 13Progress and Trends High Risk and Vulnerable Road Users Table 1 presents an analysis of fatalities by road user type, covering the period of the three former road safety strategies, in terms of the average annual number of fatalities. Fatalities declined from an average of 439 in the years before the first strategy to an average of 215 in the five year period 2008—2012, a reduction of 51%. The rate at which fatalities have reduced has tended to accelerate, with the achievements during the 2007—2012 Strategy being particularly noteworthy. Fatalities among vulnerable road users have also reduced significantly with, for example, a 66% reduction in fatalities among pedal cyclists. This can be contrasted with fatalities among car users which fell by 37%. Table 1: Annual Average Fatalities by Road User Type 1993–1997 1998–2002 2003–2007 2008–2012 % Change over the Period Pedestrians 123.0 93.2 72.4 41.8 -66.0 Pedal Cyclists 24.8 15.0 11.2 8.4 -66.1 Motorcyclists 58.2 42.6 44.6 21.6 -62.9 Car Users 199.2 235.8 199.8 125.2 -37.1 Goods Vehicle Users 24.8 21.4 24.8 14.6 -41.1 Other 9.6 6.6 8.8 3.8 -60.4 Total 439.4 414.6 361.6 215.4 -51.0 Source: Compiled from Road Collision Facts. Note: fatalities averaged over the respective periods to reduce the effect of random variations in level of fatalities. However, as Figure 5 shows, the absolute number for car user fatalities remains very high. Figure 5: Fatalities by Road User Type 180 171 160 160 146 140 130 120 100 95 95 81 80 60 49 47 44 40 40 33 32 29 29 25 20 20 17 17 19 18 17 15 9 10 8 13 8 09 7 5 5 5 2 1 11 1 1 00 0 0 Goods PSV Users Car Users Others Pedal Cycle Motor Cycle Pedestrians Vehicle Users Users Users 14 Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020Progress and Trends Despite the overall reduction in road fatalities, the fatality risk for some groups remains high due to different exposure levels; for example, for motorcyclists, the fatality risk on a vehicle per kilometre basis is high relative to that of car users. Motorcyclists are part of a group of vulnerable road users that includes pedestrians, cyclists, young children (under 14 years) and older people car users (65 years and over) and it is vital that this Strategy contains actions to reduce road safety risks for this group because: • 2 in 5 of those who died on our roads over the period 2007—2012 were vulnerable road users. • 1 in 5 were pedestrians. • 1 in 10 were motorcyclists. • 1 in 3 pedestrians killed was aged 65 and over. • 1 in 25 was a pedal cyclist. Contributory Factors to Road Collisions The contributory factors to road traffic collisions are many and varied. When combined, as they do in nearly every collision, they create a very complex picture of what actually happened. These varied causation factors are often categorised as: human, environment, road and/or vehicle. The Venn diagram below compiled by the Road Safety Authority from Garda data for the period 2007—2011 is a demonstration of that complexity. Pedestrian 7.8% Environment 2.5% Driver Vehicle 84.8% 0.3% Road 4.6% Note: Based on data for fatal/injury collisions provided by An Garda Síochána Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020 15Progress and Trends Statistics show that between 2007 and 2011: • Single vehicle collisions accounted for 38% of all fatal collisions and 25% of all injury collisions. • Head on collisions accounted for 19% of fatal collisions and 12% of injury collisions. • Collisions involving pedestrians accounted for 22% of all fatal collisions and 17% of all injury collisions. Four out of five of all fatal collisions were single vehicle, head-on or pedestrian collisions. This indicates that single vehicle, head-on conflict or pedestrian collision types are, on average, more severe than angle, rear-end or ‘other’ road collision types, which together accounted for 46% of injury collisions but only 21% of fatal collisions. The contributory factors listed by An Garda Síochána on collision report forms between 2007 and 2011 showed that: • Driver error accounted for 87% of all contributory factors identified in fatal collisions; pedestrian error accounted for 8%, road factors accounted for 2%, environment accounted for 1% and vehicle factors accounted for 1%. • The highest number of fatalities occurred in early evening rush hours, i.e. between 6:00pm and 7:00pm. • 333 people were killed in 301 fatal collisions between 9:00pm and 3:00am, the hours most strongly associated with drinking and driving; this period accounted for 26% of fatal collisions and 27% of fatalities. • 175 people were killed between 12 midnight and 3:00am. Fatalities that occurred during these hours accounted for approximately 14% of all road collision fatalities between 2007 and 2011. This analysis of road collision statistics shows that despite the gains made, there is a need for a continuing focus on vulnerable road users and on the traditional causal factors of alcohol consumption and speeding. 16 Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020Progress and Trends Speeding Compliance Targets for 2012 as set out in the Road Safety Strategy 2007—2012 The following table charts the progress against targets set out in the Road Safety Strategy using the most recent data published in 2012. There are still significant compliance issues with articulated vehicles on urban national and national primary 2 lane roads. Table 2: Compliance with Speed Targets Vehicle Type Road Type 2007—2012 Target 2012 Actual Compliance % Compliance % Articulated Vehicles Urban National – 50km/h 70 22 National Primary 2 lane 60 30 National Secondary 2 lane 60 68 Regional Roads 95 98 Local Roads 95 100 Buses National Primary 2 lane 85 51 National Secondary 2 lane 86 91 Cars Urban National – 50km/h 60 15 Urban Arterial – 60km/h 60 38 Urban Arterial – 50km/h 60 26 National Primary 2 lane 90 84 National Secondary 2 lane 90 94 Regional Roads 90 66 Local Roads 95 87 Rigid Vehicle Urban National – 50km/h 70 24 National Primary 2 lane 60 47 National Secondary 2 lane 60 79 Regional Roads 90 90 Local Roads 95 99 Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020 17Progress and Trends Seatbelt Wearing Targets for 2012 as set out in the Road Safety Strategy 2007—2012 Front seatbelt wearing rates have increased substantially since the early 1990s when just over 50% of people wore seatbelts. This figure increased to 92% in 2012. The wearing rate for rear seats for adults has also increased substantially from just 26% in 2005 to 89% in 2012. Table 3: Compliance with Seatbelt Wearing Targets 2007—2012 Target 2012 Actual Compliance % Compliance % Adult front wearing rate 95 92 Adult rear wearing rate 95 89 Primary school front wearing rate 95 98 Primary school rear wearing rate 95 97 Secondary school front wearing rate 95 93 Secondary school rear wearing rate 95 93 In 2012, a school seatbelt survey showed a consistent increase in seatbelt wearing rates for both primary and secondary schools. For primary school pupils, the rear seatbelt wearing rate was 97%, 17 percentage points higher than was recorded in 2009. For secondary school pupils, the rear seatbelt wearing rate was 93%, 10 percentage points higher than 2009. Front seatbelt wearing rates were 98% for primary school pupils and 93% for secondary school pupils. Developing a Road Safety Culture Since the launch of the last Road Safety Strategy, there has been a hugely positive shift in public attitudes towards road safety in general and specifically with regard to the issues of speeding and drink driving. Road safety advertising and mass media campaigns have been extremely successful in changing behaviour and have contributed significantly to the overall strategy of reducing death and injury on Ireland’s roads. When asked about the most influential factors in saving lives on Ireland’s roads, road safety advertising is continuously regarded as very influential and broadly on a par with Garda enforcement and penalties imposed by courts (Table 4). 18 Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020Progress and Trends Table 4: Road user’s view of the efficacy of road safety counter measures Question: How influential or not do you think each of the following factors have been in saving lives on Ireland’s roads? 60 54 50 50 48 46 46 44 45 42 40 40 39 39 40 37 31 30 29 28 22 20 19 20 14 13 11 10 8 7 0 Car Design Road Education Road Road Safety Garda Penalties News and Features Engineering in Schools Traffic Laws TV Adverts Enforcement Imposed Coverage by Courts Very Influential Fairly Influential Not at all Influential One example of the success of road safety advertising is the ‘Damage’ seatbelts campaign. Independent Observational Surveys conducted at the time showed that overall seatbelt wearing rates increased from 50% to 72% and rear seatbelt wearing rates increased from 20% to 46% in the space of two years. No other intervention occurred during this time, such as increases in enforcement or new legislation. Similarly, twelve years ago, research showed that less than a third (30%) of drivers supported the view that you should never ever drink and drive. By 2006, before the third strategy was published, this had increased to almost half the driver population (49%). By September 2011, attitudinal research, conducted on the eve of the lowering of the drink drive limits, showed that 95% of the population agreed with the statement that you should never ever drink and drive. Ten years of delivering an uncompromising message on drink driving coupled with the introduction of effective enforcement powers and harsher penalties have brought about this change. For over a decade, Ireland’s road safety advertising has been based upon the Education/Enforcement Model in which advertising is designed to win the moral argument, shape the climate of public opinion and build community support for enforcement of our road safety laws. This is consistent with the policy of the European Commission: “Studies and research on this subject have shown that, to achieve a significant improvement in compliance with the rules by road users, an overall approach is needed which combines 7 police checks with education and awareness campaigns for users.” “From the same scientific sources it appears that enforcement actions are only optimally effective if they are combined with actions to make the public aware of such enforcement 8 actions and of the reasons why they are being held.” It is clear that the improvement of attitudes and behaviour across a number of road behaviours over the last decade has meant that road safety advertising has made a significant contribution to the long-term reductions in road deaths in Ireland. In summary The various road safety interventions and targets set out in the Road Safety Strategy 2007—2012, coupled with an ever strengthening road safety culture, have resulted in a successful period in road safety for Ireland. Deaths and injuries are decreasing at a rate that is comparable with other best performing countries in the EU. There has been significant improvement in compliance by road users in respect of the main collision causation factors such as seatbelt wearing, speeding on some roads, and alcohol related offences. However, despite an overall reduction in road deaths, there is a need to focus on vulnerable road-users and causal factors where there are low levels of compliance and this will be a major focus of the Government Road Safety Strategy 2013—2020. 7. European Commission; European Road Safety Action Programme, 2nd June 2003. 8. European Commission Recommendation on Enforcement in the Field of Road Safety, 2003, Page 9, Paragraph 7. Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020 193. The Consultation ProcessThe Consultation Process The Consultation Process Before identifying key actions, an effective road safety strategy must focus on the key challenges that need to be addressed in order to minimise road collisions and fatalities. In order to identify these challenges, the Road Safety Authority embarked on a substantial consultation process, seeking input from all stakeholders. The consultation process comprised a number of elements: • A multi-agency Road Safety Strategy Workshop held in June 2012. • Detailed public consultation (including an online facility) held in summer of 2012. • Face to face consultations with key stakeholders, who will be charged with delivering measures under the Strategy. Over 400 written responses were received during the public consultation, of which approximately 320 were from individuals with the balance from organisations. A total of over 1,800 separate issues were raised. Many of the responses were very detailed and reflected a high level of interest in road safety matters. The bulk of the issues raised related to enforcement and road and vehicle engineering. With regard to enforcement, there was an emphasis on the need for a high level of enforcement activity by An Garda Síochána, expanding the use of the penalty points system, graduated driving licensing system and the enforcement of vehicle regulations. With regard to engineering, the most frequent issues related to road design including cycle lane design and junction design, speed limits and road signage. Issues relating to in-vehicle technology and standards for vehicle peripherals were also raised. All of the submissions were reviewed and considered when identifying measures to be undertaken as part of the new Strategy. Specific suggestions that have been taken up in the Strategy include actions in relation to: • The rationalisation of speed limits and signage on roads. • The targeting of high collision road sites for remedial treatment. • The introduction of graduated driving licences. • The use of in-vehicle and on-road technologies. • The improvement of enforcement methods. • The maintenance of the road network. The key elements of the process were the setting of targets for the new strategy, the identification of actions, assigning actions to lead agencies with identified completion dates, and the annual review of progress. In addition, the impact of the political commitment of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Ministerial Committee on Road Safety must not be underestimated. The stakeholder partners who were part of the Strategy process were uniformly positive that a multi-agency approach to road safety would generate the best outcomes, and that a 5 to 7 year Strategy is an appropriate timescale to address the current challenges facing road safety. Review of the Road Safety Strategy 2007—2012 A comprehensive review of the Road Safety Strategy 2007—2012 was also undertaken during this process. This helped to identify the inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts associated with the Strategy measures and assessed their contribution to the achievement of the Strategy’s objectives. Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020 21The Consultation Process 9 The conclusions of the review are outlined below : • The number of fatal vehicle-on-vehicle collisions has more than halved over the period of the Strategy. • The number of other fatal collisions has reduced by around a third. • The reported rate of serious collisions in 2011 was less than half that at the start of the Strategy period. • The impact of the strategy equates to the prevention of 686 fatal collisions, 1,312 serious injury collisions and 649 minor collisions. • A road safety culture firmly embedded in the road-using public. The review found that the vast majority of the actions that were committed to as part of the Strategy were implemented in full. Measures that required cross-agency co-ordination proved more difficult to implement. Value for money The review found that the overall benefit-to-cost ratio for the Strategy is estimated to be close to 3 to 1, which compares favourably with many investment options elsewhere in the economy. One of the main factors in the safety gains that have been achieved by the Strategy has been the completion of the major inter-urban network, now largely designated as motorways which have been very effective. Rates of return from safety schemes such as small, infrastructure improvements, targeted at locations with a history of multiple collisions and other measures that are targeted at people or places or situations where there is a substantially above-average risk, are likely to offer value for money and safety dividends. 9. Evaluation of the Road Safety Strategy 2007—2012 (Draft Report) December 2012 RPS Consulting 22 Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 20204. The ChallengesThe Challenges The Challenges The consultation process highlighted a number of road safety challenges that will need to be addressed in this Strategy and these are outlined in detail in this chapter. Given the success of the 2007—2012 Road Safety Strategy, one of the key challenges of this Strategy is to prevent complacency and continue to progress the building of a national road safety culture. In addition, the European Union has adopted a target of halving the number of road deaths in the European Union by 2020, starting from 2010. This represents a much more ambitious target than previously adopted and challenges Ireland to play its part by committing to further substantial progress in reducing collisions, fatalities and serious injuries. The European Union’s strategy focuses in particular on reducing the number of serious injuries and on protecting vulnerable road users. The following are some of the issues that reflect the priorities set at EU level and the views arising from the public consultation and the consultations with the primary stakeholders, including Government departments and agencies, the Gardaí, the Health and Safety Authority and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety. These are reflected in the actions in this Strategy. Work Related Vehicle Safety Collisions during working hours or on the way to work account for up to a third of all road traffic collisions, therefore special consideration is given in the new Strategy to work related vehicle safety issues. Ireland has many good examples of companies and organisations that have developed effective road safety interventions in the workplace and achieved reduced collision rates, less absenteeism, better vehicle maintenance, lower fuel costs, reduced insurance premiums, greater staff satisfaction and better re-saleability of vehicles. There is a need to make employers aware of the need to implement stringent road safety policies within their organisations and workplaces to improve their business and reduce unnecessary costs. While there is good progress in many private organisations in developing road safety policies, there is a need to focus on Government and Local Authorities to put such policies in place within their organisations. Experience has shown that road safety is a shared responsibility involving the broader community as well as government agencies. A challenge for the new Strategy will be to draw companies and employers into the task of building a national road safety culture, so as to make more progress in relation to work-related road safety. Duty of care, occupational health and safety and road safety compliance are legal necessities in all EU Member States and are an essential consideration for employers. The European Directive 89/391/EEC on the health and safety of workers requires every employer in Europe to undertake a risk assessment according to the principles of prevention. This includes employees travelling for work, or whose work occurs on or near the road. An examination of possible legislation to prohibit certain work-related activities, especially roadside retailing/marketing, on safety grounds will be considered within the lifetime of this strategy. 24 Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020The Challenges Medical Fitness to Drive The National Programme Office for Traffic Medicine was established by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) in July 2011 to take the lead on the development and implementation of a national framework on standards in traffic medicine. Based in RCPI, the priorities of the National Programme Office are: • The establishment and updating of medical fitness to drive guidelines in line with emerging evidence and research. • To promote and prolong safe driving by supporting medical practitioners and drivers in making decisions about medical fitness to drive. • Ongoing professional education and the development of a network of accredited specialist driver assessors, and • A continuing focus on research so as to expand and harness the evidence base on medical fitness to drive. The discipline of traffic medicine is aimed at understanding and mitigating the road safety risks to which disability or illness give rise, and reducing the harm traffic crashes inflict on fragile human beings. There is also an enabling/ rehabilitative element which tries to ensure that transport mobility (an important constituent of well-being and social inclusion) is not hampered, or rendered unsafe, by remediable illness or functional loss. Consideration will be given to move away from age-defined medical screening to more evidence-based interventions. As traffic medicine is a relatively new specialism, there is a need to improve our understanding of both medical fitness to drive and of the support requirements of doctors and other professionals engaged in this area. Road Safety Strategy 2013 — 2020 25

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