The UK Government has launched its first investigation branch focused entirely on road safety. It plans to recruit a specialised team of inspectors to join the country’s first ever Road Safety Investigation Branch (RSIB), looking at how and why incidents happen and to provide real insight into how new technologies – such as self-driving and electric vehicles, can be rolled out on UK roads.
The branch will investigate incidents on country’s roads and provide insight into what needs to change to help save lives.
This is the latest move by the government to try and modernise the road networks – as well as reduce the impact of traffic collisions on the NHS and the economy. The government estimates that this currently costs around £39bn a year.
RSIB will investigate themes in the causes of collisions, as well as specific incidents of concern, to learn valuable road safety lessons and report back to the government and Roads Minister Bareness Charlotte Vere.
The independent safety recommendations will be made to shape the future of road safety policy across the country.
The RSIB will publish insight into safety trends and new technologies, which could include self-driving vehicles, e-scooters and electric vehicles (EVs), to ensure the country maintains some of the highest road safety standards in the world.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “The UK may have some of the safest roads in the world, but tragedies still happen and any injury or death on our road network is one too many.
“That’s why we’re establishing the road safety investigation branch, so we can boost safety for road users even further and also bring safety measures in line with other modes of transport and the future of travel.”
Road collisions lead to significantly more deaths in than those caused by other modes of transport, yet there is currently no independent body to investigate road incidents and their causes.
This was why a public consultation was launched last year, which has now led to this new body being created
The aim of the RSIB is to bring road safety into line with similar independent bodies that already exist for air, maritime and rail accidents in the UK.
RAC Foundation Director, Steve Gooding, said: “Over the past 4 years, the Foundation has run the Road Collision Investigation Project with funding from government and National Highways. Working with 3 police forces and many other experts, we have demonstrated the strong case for a fresh way of investigating death and injury on the road network, which is why we are delighted with this announcement.
“We look forward to working further with the government to get the branch set up and make our roads safer still.”
The Government expects the RSIB to use the Collision Reporting and Sharing System (CRASH), Forensic Collision Investigation reports and Prevention of Future Death reports alongside that from insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers, the emergency services and the NHS to deepen the body of evidence on incident causes and improve road safety interventions even further nationwide.
More details on the RSIB are expected to be revealed in the upcoming Transport Bill.
Source: RAC News