Road Safety Week highlights Vision Zero progress

Throughout this week’s Road Safety Week, Safer Roads Watch teams will be deployed on local roads. Merseyside Police will be dedicating resources to speed enforcement and schools will be asked to support campaigns and share the message.

Road Safety Week coincides with the launch of the LCR Road Safety Strategy Annual Report. The report maintains partners’ accountability to work within the guidance set out by the strategy. It highlights the partnership’s work towards Vision Zero, demonstrating how they have worked to improve road safety since the launch of the strategy in October 2022.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “In Vision Zero strategy, we’ve set a bold target to reduce the number and severity of road traffic collisions. It’s our ambition that, by 2040, no one will be killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“While a big part of that relies on people’s road safety awareness, there are lots of practical steps we’re taking to encourage long-term behaviour change in how people choose to travel.

“At present nearly two thirds of all journeys in the region are less than 5km, but half of them are taken by car. It’s clear that the only way we can change this is by providing people with a genuine alternative.

“That’s why since I was elected Mayor, I’ve been working to build an integrated London-style public transport system that’s faster, cheaper, cleaner and better connected – and we’ve already taken huge steps towards that goal.

“We’ve invested massively in our public transport network, from the historic decision to take back control of our buses to our brand-new publicly owned £500m trains to the more than £70m we’re spending on new walking and cycling infrastructure.

“By giving people a reason to ditch the car, we can drastically reduce traffic and congestion on our roads, improve the quality of air we all breathe and make our roads safer for everyone.”

The report demonstrates the shift in working practices to a Safe Systems approach and highlights events such as Road Safety Week encompassing delivery details.

Historically, the partnership has worked through areas of responsibility dedicated to specific authorities or agencies. The Safe Systems approach, however, empowers all partners to work freely across the 5 pillars, adapting their work to their priorities to improve road safety and ensuring a proportionate approach.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Everyone deserves to feel safe on Merseyside’s roads. Deaths and injuries are neither acceptable nor inevitable – they are preventable.”

“Through Vision Zero we set out our ambition to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in avoidable road collisions to zero. It’s a bold aspiration, but it’s what we must be focussed on delivering if we want to ensure fewer families suffer the devastation and heartache caused by road collisions.”

“As we mark Road Safety Week, the release of our first annual report provides a snapshot of the progress that’s been made over the last year. From engagement and education to enforcement and infrastructure, there’s been lots of progress, but we know there is much more still to do.”

“There are no quick fixes or instant answers to reducing fatalities and casualties on our region’s roads, but that’s why it’s essential we work as a collective and remain committed to delivering long-term behaviour change. For it only by working in partnership, that we can create a region that is cleaner, greener and most importantly, safer, for all.”

Paul Fletcher from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said, “This Road Safety Week let’s talk about speed. As one of the Fatal Four offences speed is a regular contributing factor in road traffic collisions resulting in a death.

“In 2021, a quarter of all fatal collisions on Merseyside included speed as a contributing factor. This partnership is dedicated to Vision Zero but we can only get there by working together, we must all accept responsibility for our behaviour and make choices based on Road Safety.”

RoSPA advises the following when driving in darker periods of the day:

Be prepared: As the UK experiences shorter days and longer nights, it is crucial for motorists to adjust their driving habits. The decreased visibility during early mornings and evenings demands heightened caution. RoSPA urges drivers to use dipped headlights, ensure clean windshields, and to be extra cautious when navigating poorly lit roads.

Control your speed: Darkness amplifies the risks associated with speeding. The lack of visibility, compounded by higher speeds, can lead to devastating collisions. The DfT reports that in 2022, exceeding the speed limit was deemed a contributory factor for 19% of all fatal collisions. In 9 per cent of fatal collisions, driving too fast for the conditions was deemed a contributory factor. RoSPA emphasises that adhering to speed limits and driving to the conditions is paramount, especially when daylight hours are limited.

Rebecca Guy, RoSPA Road Safety Manager said, “If you must travel in the dark, I suggest leaving ample time for the journey, ensuring you can travel within the speed limit, and maintain a safe distance behind other road users.

“As we age, our ability to adapt to changing light reduces, which impacts how we see colours and contrasts in low-light conditions. It also takes longer for the eyes to recover from glare – from one second at age 15, to nine seconds at 65.”

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