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The United Kingdom - Country Profile.
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Introduction.
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The following article has been sourced from a website of the European Union... [there is a link to it near the bottom of this page.]  It gives an overview of The United Kingdom and outlines their strategies for reducing road fatalities up to the year 2010.  The UK - Country Assessment. gives our assessment of their policy.
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Road Safety Vision: Plans: and Targets.
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Britain has a comparatively good road safety record.  The casualty reduction targets for deaths and serious injuries, set in 1987, have been achieved.  Road deaths have fallen by nearly 40% and serious injuries by 45% compared to the 1981-85 average.  However, there has not been such a steep decline in the numbers of road accidents, nor in the numbers of slight injuries.  Nor does the UK record for child pedestrian deaths compare well with other European countries.
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On 1st March 2000: The Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions [now known as The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions] published the UK road safety strategy entitled: "Tomorrow's Roads - Safer for Everyone".  It comprises the UK government's road safety strategy and casualty reduction targets up to the year 2010.
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The UK road safety programme contains many specific recommendations, but is not intended to be a rigid blueprint.  The strategy and targets are to be reviewed every three years to take into account new ideas and new technologies.  A Road Safety Advisory Panel will be established to assist in that review process.  By 2010, the UK government wishes to achieve, compared with the average for 1994-98 [average = 3727]...
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1. 40% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents. [target = circa 2235 killed.]
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2. 50% reduction in the numbers of children killed or seriously injured. [target = circa 95 killed]
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3. 10% reduction in the slight casualty rate, expressed as the number of people slightly injured per 100 million vehicle kilometres.
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Core Road Safety Statistics
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'91 '92 '93 '94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 2000
4753 4379 3957 3807 3765 3740 3743 3581 3564 3580

Persons killed / 109 person kilometres
8 7 7 6 6 6 6 5 5 5
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Road Safety Priorities
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The UK road safety strategy is very comprehensive, and it covers ten priority themes, with a host of specific measures, together with an implementation timetable.
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1. Safer for children.
Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of accidental injury amongst children and young people.  Every year, over 130 children die and more than 4,500 are seriously injured while walking and cycling, many of them close to their homes.  Another 60 die and over 1100 are seriously injured travelling in cars.  The overall rate of serious road injuries to children is better than the European average.  But, despite recent improvements, the UK child pedestrian record is still poor compared to other European countries.
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An action plan is proposed that identifies the four key stages in road safety education, targeting...
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1a. Babies and very young children... through advising their parents and teachers on protection in cars... and teaching safe behaviour on the road.
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1b. Primary age children... through child pedestrian training schemes... and later, cycle training... alerting parents to the risks of cycling in particular traffic conditions.
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1c. Older children... by providing road safety information as they change schools and go on longer journeys on their own.
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1d. Older teenagers... providing advice as they contemplate much more independent mobility.
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2. Safer drivers... 
training and testing.  Better driving skills and better driving behaviour would make an enormous difference to reducing the number of road casualties.  The following measures are to be introduced...
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2a. Instil in young people the right attitudes towards road safety and safe driving.
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2b. Guide learner drivers to take a more structured approach to learning... to prepare them for their driving career... not just to pass a test.
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2c. Raise the standard of tuition offered by driving instructors.
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2d. Improve the driving test in the light of better understanding about what needs to be examined and effective ways to do it.
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2e. Focus on the immediate post-test period for novice drivers.
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2f. Enhance the status of advanced motoring qualifications.
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2g. Address the needs of professional drivers.
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2h. Bring safety benefits for all categories of motor vehicle.
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3. Safer drivers... 
alcohol, drugs and drowsiness.  Over 16.000 casualties in 1998... including 460 deaths... were caused by accidents where at least one driver was over the legal alcohol limit [0.08% in the UK.]  Even a very small amount of alcohol affects driving.  Drugs too, both illegal and medicinal, can impair driving skills.  And according to the latest research, fatigue may be the principal factor in around 10% of all accidents.  The following measures are proposed...
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3a. Introduce new measures to reduce drink-driving further.
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3b. Develop more effective ways to tackle drug-driving.
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3c. Carry out research to improve understanding of drug-driving.
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3d. Strengthen and enforce laws on driving time for lorry, bus and coach drivers.
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3e. Make people aware how much tiredness contributes to road accidents and advise drivers and employers how to cut the risks.
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4. Safer Infrastructure.
The emphasis is on making best use of the existing highway network, giving priority to treating the places with the worst safety [black spots,] congestion and environmental records.  In England there is a new role here for the Highways Agency as well as new responsibilities and funding for local authorities.  Key elements of the approach in England include...
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Recognition that good engineering reduces the risk of accidents.
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On national roads... a strategy focused on better maintenance and a targeted, seven-year programme of road improvements.
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On local roads... the introduction of longer-term, more co-ordinated local planning and improvements for walkers and cyclists.
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The devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales are taking a similar approach.
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The following specific measures are proposed...
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4a. Ensure that safety continues to be a main objective in designing, building, operating and maintaining trunk and local roads.
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4b. Ensure that safety continues to be part of the planning framework for main and local routes.
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4c. Publish guidance about engineering for safer roads based on sound research and experiment.
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4d. Use local transport plans to promote safer neighbourhoods.
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4e. Monitor progress on local efforts to reduce casualties.
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5. Safer speeds.
Research has shown that speed is a major contributory factor in about one-third of all road accidents.  This means that each year excessive and inappropriate speed helps kill around 1,200 people and to injure over 100,000 more.  This is far more than any other single contributor to casualties on roads.  The following measures are to be taken...
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5a. Publicise widely the risks of speed and reasons for limits.
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5b. Develop a national framework for determining appropriate vehicle speeds on all roads... and ensure that measures are available to achieve them.
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5c. Research a number of speed management problems to gain the necessary information to develop and test new policies.
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5d. Take into account environmental, economic and social effects of policies when assessing their ability to reduce accidents.
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6. Safer vehicles.
Improvements in vehicle safety have contributed significantly to reducing road deaths and injuries, and will continue to do so.  The strategy here is to improve vehicle safety further by encouraging...
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6a. Improvements which protect car occupants in the event of an accident.
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6b. Improvements which protect other road users.
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6c. Better information for consumers, helping them to choose safer vehicles.  [The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions is a partner in the European New Car Assessment Programme.]
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6d. Better standards for vehicle maintenance.
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6e. Renewed emphasis on new vehicle safety inspections by manufacturers and dealers.
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7. Safer motorcycling.
Motorcyclists represent a large proportion of road casualties in relation to their numbers.  They make up less than 1% of road traffic, but suffer 14% of deaths and serious injuries.  The aim is to influence the casualty figures through better training and testing for both riders and drivers and through better engineering construction and design, which will help to make motorcycling safer than it is now.  The strategy is...
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7a. To improve training and testing for all learner riders.
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7b. To publish advice for people returning to motorcycling after a break, and people riding as part of their work.
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7c. To ensure the quality of instruction.
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7d. Through training and testing, to help drivers become more aware of how vulnerable motorcyclists are.
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7e. To promote improvements in engineering and technical standards which could protect motorcyclists better: and to work with representatives of interested organisations, in an advisory group, to look at issues of concern.
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8. Safety for pedestrians... 
cyclists and horse riders.  UK policy is to encourage walking and cycling.  Local authorities must set out how, in their traffic layouts and urban design they are to encourage more people to walk and cycle instead of drive, and what safety measures they propose in support.  There are around 3 million horse riders in the UK, constituting an especially vulnerable group to inconsiderate motorised road users.  The strategy is both to improve conditions for vulnerable road users and to encourage them to protect themselves.  The strategy here is to...
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8a. Help make drivers more aware of their responsibilities towards all vulnerable road users through better training and testing.
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8b. Develop cycle training courses for adults.
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8c. Develop schemes to promote the use of cycle helmets.
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8d. Support training schemes for horse riders.
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8e. Improve victim support systems.
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9. Better enforcement.
Law enforcement is an essential part of reducing road casualties and the police have a central role in improving road safety.  The UK's aim is to maximise the contribution that road traffic law can make to reducing road casualties.  This comprises...
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9a. A more effective road traffic law enforcement.
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9b. Better public understanding of and respect for road traffic law.
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9c. Penalties more appropriate and proportionate to the seriousness of offences.
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9d. More emphasis on education and retraining.
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9e. Maximum use of new technology.
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10. Promoting safer road use.
Based on achievements of publicity campaigns in the past, the strategy is to target those areas where there is a need to change attitudes and behaviour.  The motor manufacturing and retail industry should be a natural and powerful ally in promoting road safety generally.
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Road Safety Management Organisation.
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The national road safety policy is the responsibility of the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions [DTLR.]  The Road Safety Strategy sets the national framework for policy up to 2010.  Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure safety on the roads for which they have responsibility.  Targets are set at the national level, and local authorities set their own targets in their Local Transport Plans, in consistency with the national targets.  Programmes are funded by national and local taxation.  For infrastructure programmes on motorways and trunk roads, the Highways Agency part of DTLR is responsible and has a three-year centrally funded budget.  Policy on such issues as drink-driving, speed limits, driver training and testing is set nationally.  Local authorities are responsible for local safety engineering schemes and road safety education, in accordance with national regulations and best practice guidance.
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Road Safety Programme - Monitoring and Evaluation.
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The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions is responsible for the evaluation of the road safety programme.  Routine monitoring is carried out annually, and formal programme reviews are planned to be carried out every three years.
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General monitoring indicators are the number of crashes and casualties by severity: and by road user group: drink-driving: use of seatbelts: use of cycle helmets: speeds: road user attitudes: by means of surveys: plus some other ad hoc surveys.  Other indicators that are monitored are traffic volume by vehicle type: travel patterns: modal split: vehicle registrations: driving test volumes: and pass rates.
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Cost/benefit studies of the various measures are an integral part of programme evaluation.
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Information sourced from...
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Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions [DTLR.]
Highways Agency.
Transport Research Laboratory [TRL.]
European Commission - Transport website.
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