National consultation – road traffic law enforcement

We are replying as (Newcastle’s cycling campaign) to the Inquiry on traffic law enforcement by the Transport Select Committee. We have 1,600 local members; and we are an organisation entirely run by volunteers, a constituted community group, formed in 2010. We would like to take this opportunity to make a strong point about the ‘wider picture’ which appears to be missing from the inquiry:

There are benefits of structuring the UK road safety system more effectively (to avoid death and damage to occur in the first instance and avoid state resources getting wasted). Government departments should start cooperating much more closely with each other on this cross-cutting issue of road safety (as evidenced in the principles of ‘engineering, education and enforcement’ and categorised in ‘safe systems of work’). We therefore would like to take this opportunity to specifically highlight the real difference that good infrastructure can make to road safety.

  • Quality infrastructure functions as a key preventative measure
  • Well-designed infrastructure reduces occurrence of death and damage in the first instance
  • Good infrastructure therefore lessens the economic and societal cost and burden caused by road crashes and collisions

To that effect we would like to draw your particular attention to an established road safety system called Sustainable Safety, more information can be found on this dedicated website here Sustainable Safety clearly shows how the Netherlands have continually been improving road safety through designing roads in a way that creates self-enforcing actions and the desired behaviour in road users, all in all preventing and reducing death and damage, lessening the ‘bureaucratic burden’ of enforcement and education.

We believe with seemingly ever scarcer availability of policing resources a wider more holistic look is warranted, if not even vital, to making road safety work effectively in the UK by acting on the above, and adopt the successful Dutch principles of Sustainable Safety in the UK. We would welcome the opportunity to give oral evidence.

Katja Leyendecker, on behalf of Committee

TSC_Oct2015 [pdf]