RoSPA Welcomes Call for Evidence on Safer Cycling and Walking
The Department for Transport (DfT) has published a call for evidence on ways to make cycling and walking safer while also increasing cycling and walking. RoSPA is pleased that the consultation covers both pedestrians and cyclists because, together, they accounted for 550 road accident deaths in Great Britain in 2016 – 31 per cent of the overall total.
RoSPA strongly supports measures that encourage healthy and sustainable travel. The key to increasing cycling and walking, and so gaining all the health and environmental benefits that result, is to create a safe on and off-road environment, improve road user attitudes and behaviour towards each other and produce safer vehicles that reduce the risk to those most vulnerable when involved in a collision. Improvements in road design, speed reduction measures and improved training and education would have a strong safety benefit for both cyclists and pedestrians.
Nick Lloyd, road safety manager at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “We are really pleased that the call for evidence recognises the importance of a ‘safe systems approach’ as a way of protecting vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. It is an unfortunate reality that as humans we do make mistakes and when this happens it should not result in death or life-changing injury.
“On cycling specifically, we believe that improving safety would not only reduce the number of cyclist casualties, but would also encourage and enable more people to cycle more often. It would help people who want to cycle but are deterred from doing so currently because they think it is not safe enough, and would also help to prevent an increase in cycling being followed by an increase in cyclist casualties. This, in turn, would increase the health and environmental benefits of cycling for cyclists themselves and for society as a whole.”
Today, has also seen the publication of the DfT’s Cycle Safety Review, which says that there is a case for changing the law to tackle the issue of dangerous and careless cycling that causes serious injury or death, bringing cycling in line with driving offences.
Nick Lloyd said: “RoSPA broadly supports the review, but recognises that very few pedestrians are killed by cyclists. Almost all of the pedestrian collision deaths in 2016 involved a motor vehicle, with three involving a cyclist. It is right to plug the gap between manslaughter and the historic offence of wanton and furious driving but, more importantly, this call for evidence provides the opportunity for people to express their views on how we can make cycling and walking safe, healthy activities for individuals and communities alike.”
You can respond to the consultation on-line or by downloading the document and responding by post.