Government urged to set up Road Collision Investigation Branch
The UK government is being urged to follow the lead of other countries in implementing a Road Collision Investigation Branch to drive down accident rates.
The call comes from the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), which is seeking an amendment to the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill to pave the way for the new body as it says driverless cars and increasing degrees of automation in current models create new challenges and opportunities for collision investigators.
“The time has come to set up a UK road collision investigation body. We have dedicated Accident Investigation Branches [of DfT] for air, rail and maritime but not for road accidents. The UK carries out some excellent collision investigation but it is fragmented and inconsistent. We need to learn from air and rail, harness the new technical opportunities, and bring together the efforts of researchers, Police, coroners, local authorities and others more effectively. Other countries, such as the USA and Sweden, have such investigation bodies,” said David Davies, decision-making director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety.
Davies added: “The number of deaths on GB roads was 1,730 in 2015. This far exceeds those in rail, air and maritime combined. And since 2010 they have reduced very little. We need to learn more about how to prevent them.”
The call is backed by road safety charity Brake. Campaigns director Gary Rae said: “This is the foundation of an intelligent approach to road collision reduction, at a time when, globally, the spotlight is on the unacceptable extent of road casualties and deaths.
“Highways England is aiming for zero deaths and serious injuries on our strategic road network by 2040: only through in-depth investigation and considered solutions will we stem the deaths we see on our roads every day.”