Roads: Accidents

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 16 January 2023.

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Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps his Department has taken to reduce the number of speed-related traffic accidents.

Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Figures for Great Britain’s traffic fatalities per million population have been among the lowest in the world for many years. In 2021, Great Britain had the fifth lowest rate of road fatalities per million people among European countries with a population over 1 million.

The Government believes that any form of dangerous or inconsiderate driving behaviour is a serious road safety issue. All available research shows a link between excessive speed and the risk of collisions.

We expect all drivers to observe the speed limit, and enforcement is a matter for the police. Policing of our roads, and how available resources are deployed, is the responsibility of individual chief officers, taking into account the specific local issues.

The Government is progressing a four-year review into roads policing and traffic enforcement. The Department for Transport will be looking at this with the Home Office, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Police Chiefs’ Council. We aim to identify ways of increasing capability and capacity across a range of agencies. This review will not only highlight where police forces are doing good work: it will show what more can be done to improve road safety.

The Department has also announced plans to set up a Road Safety Investigation Branch to identify the underlying causes of road traffic collisions. This will bring roads into line with modes such as rail, which have long benefitted from an accident investigation branch.

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