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Why Road Safety should be top of your business targets

The UK is one of the worst performing countries in Europe for Road Safety[1] even though the UK is a signatory to the UN’s decade of action for road safety 2021-2030[2], a program aimed to reduce traffic deaths and injuries to 50% of current levels by 2030.

Recent evidence has shown that funding for road policing and enforcement has, over the last 5 years gone down. With an overall reduction in the number of dedicated police traffic officers and a lack of funding from central government to support technology solutions such as fixed or mobile speed cameras. In many areas, fixed cameras are so outdated that they have been turned off and with no funding to replace them, it is unlikely that many motorists will receive any penalties for speeding, which remains the number one cause of road traffic incidents in the UK.

The decade of action for road safety gives organisations and governments a broad framework from which they can implement a safe system approach to road safety through a series of pillars, with the overall objective of meeting the targets set in the plan.

In that safe system approach the pan seeks an integrated approach including:

· Multi Modal transport and land use planning

· Safe road infrastructure

· Safe Vehicles

· Safe road use

· Post-crash response

Defining how to do it through:

· Legal Frameworks

· Gender based approaches

· Speed management

· Technologies

· Financing

· Capacity development


[1] https://www.pacts.org.uk/updated-results-for-gb-road-deaths-in-2020/

[2] https://www.who.int/teams/social-determinants-of-health/safety-and-mobility/decade-of-action-for-road-safety-2021-2030


A focus on to low and middle income countries, to be achieved by:

· Government

· Civil Society

· Private sector

· Funders

· UN Agencies

Why should this be at the top of your agenda when you consider how your products get to market? How your supply chain operates? What impact it has on your consumers and why your business no matter what size it is, should be taking steps to ensure that your impact is minimal.

Well, here is some more information for you that you may want to consider.

Globally, road traffic incidents cause 1.3 million preventable deaths and an estimated 50 million injuries EVERY year.

In the UK there were 1460 fatal road traffic incidents on the roads and 22,069 seriously injured people in 2020.[3] It is estimated that this accounts for 1.5% of GDP in the UK that would equate to just around £33 Billion pounds, with the population of the UK at 67 million people that means as a business you need to add a proportionate amount to the cost of your products and services to cover the cost in your supply chain. The cost is equal to £492 for every person in the UK, even though only .186% of the population are involved directly in a road traffic incident annually.

There is an estimated cost to the NHS for treating patients with illness relating to vehicle emissions at £6 BILLION annually[1] 90% of this cost is from the impact of diesel emissions. The cost is an additional £89 for every person in the UK.

These two factors alone mean that the individual cost to every adult and child in the UK is £581 per person or £1394 per family (based on the UK average family)[1]


[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-annual-report-2020/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-annual-report-2020#overall-casualties


What isn’t accounted for here, is the economic cost to families affected by loss of a loved one or because of life changing injuries that mean they are unable to contribute to the household anymore.

Of course, if your supply chain is global and involving road transport operations in other countries your risks may be significantly higher, particularly in emerging markets where road systems may not be as developed as they are in Europe or North America.

The impact onto your customers is significant, it means higher costs for your products and services let alone the damage to reputation when an incident occurs involving death or serious injury and with your customers focusing increasingly on environmental concerns as well, the chances are they will be conscious of how you operate.

Over the coming weeks, SAT will be releasing a series of articles, looking at elements of the Global Road Safety Plan and how your business could be involved and take some action that supports the plan and potentially reduces the risk and environmental impact your business operation has.

To read the whole series as they are released, please follow the blog on our website and LinkedIn.

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