Transport Scotland launches ‘ambitious’ Road Safety Framework that aims for zero fatalities by 2050

The Scottish Government is set to go out to consultation on what is considered to be one of its most ambitious Road Safety Frameworks ever, targeting zero fatalities and injuries on Scotland’s roads by 2050.

The Road Safety Framework to 2030 sets out a ‘compelling long-term vision’ for road safety, Vision Zero. The journey to achieving this vision will also include ambitious interim targets where the number of people being killed or seriously injured on our roads will be halved by 2030, according to Transport Scotland. This will include a fund to help local authorities meet the targets.

Views are now being sought to inform proposals for achieving the targets which will be crucial to Scotland having the best road safety performance in the world.

“Our vision is for Scotland to have the best road safety performance in the world by 2030. It is unacceptable that anyone is killed or seriously injured on our roads and this Framework identifies the part everyone of us has to play in ensuring our long-term aspiration for that Vision Zero to become a reality,” said the Vision for Scotland framework document.

“The explicit, longer-term goal of the Safe System is for a road traffic system which becomes free from death and serious injury through incremental, targeted improvements within a specified safety performance framework,” it added.

The framework’s Safe System is central to achieving the success moving forward. This is split into five main sections; Safe road use, safe vehicles, safe speeds, safe roads and roadsides and post crash response.

Under the safe systems, approach other indicators have been developed either intermediate measures such tracking performance of casualty figures for specific user groups, or key performance indicators that focus on measuring observed road safety behaviours, vehicle safety and road infrastructure.

According to Transport Scotland, the framework’s strategic actions for delivery include;

*Speed: we will deliver a range of speed management initiatives to support the Safe System

*Climate: we will deliver road safety initiatives that positively impact the climate emergency and we will mitigate the negative impacts climate change may have on road safety

*Funding & Resourcing: we will consider how funding streams can be improved for national road safety delivery

*Change in Attitudes & Behaviour: we will engage in partnership working to enable all road users to understand their road safety responsibilities, allowing them to improve their attitudes and behaviours for the safety of themselves and others

*Active & Sustainable Travel: we will ensure road safety remains a key focus of active & sustainable travel in Scotland

*Knowledge & Data Analysis: we will ensure our actions are evidence-led to support the delivery of the Safe System

*Technology: we will research, implement and evaluate technologies for use within the Safe System and promote them as appropriate

*Enforcement: we will optimise enforcement to encourage good road user behaviour to support the Safe System

*Education: we will provide opportunities to all road users to gain the knowledge, skills and experience required to become safe and responsible users

*Health: we will strengthen the relationship between health and road safety, reduce the likelihood, number and severity of collisions and improve the post-crash response.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson launched the consultation whilst also announcing a £675,000 funding allocation to support 24 newly identified safety camera sites. This work will improve road safety by encouraging improved driver behaviour and speed limit compliance at key areas.

Mr Matheson said: “Our Road Safety Framework to 2020 has supported a reduction in the numbers of people killed or seriously injured in Scotland’s roads. It’s remarkable that even with a 27% rise in traffic since 1995, we’ve seen a 61% decrease in road collisions across the same period.

Author: Adrian Tatum

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PLEASE NOTE: This story was not originally written by a member of the Safer Highways team.

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