8 Technology and engineering |
Technology and engineering in
the Strategic Framework
49. The Government expects developments in technology
to play a clear role in improving road safety in the long term.
In the longer term, with improvements in technology,
e.g. collision avoidance - which will continue to transform the
way we drive and use roads and the ability of the system to protect
all road users when things go wrong - allied with safer and better
driving, we will see a very different world.
Developing and improving technology for the future
is therefore a key part of the Government's vision. However,
there are no indicators in the outcomes framework to assess the
progress in developing and adopting such new technologies. If
the Government wishes to encourage consumer knowledge of such
technology, then an indicator looking at the proportion of vehicles
purchased with a 5 star EuroNCAP (European New Car Assessment
Programme) rating, which rates the performance of new vehicles
in crash tests, would be useful.
50. On the other hand, engineering to improve
road design is mentioned only briefly in the Government's strategy.
Indeed, road safety improvements in the near-term from engineering
are absent from the action plan and outcomes framework, a fact
which was commented on by a number of those providing evidence.
Several existing indicators describe the role of engineering
in road safety, which may prove a useful source of information
to measure progress in this area. For example, EuroRAP (European
Road Assessment Programme) rates roads according to their safety.
The way it does so may provide an opportunity for the Government
to include a road engineering indicator in its outcomes framework.
The IAM stated:
There is no doubt that EuroRAP has reached a level
of detail and scientific rigour where it could be used as an indicator,
certainly to allow local authorities to look at their own roads
and to compare different regions. The key thing about EuroRAP
is that it looks at the risk of those particular roads. It is
about road design rather than road behaviour. In many cases it
highlights simple things like white lining, realigning bends and
lighting junctions. It is simple engineering measures.
Having the right road design and engineering schemes
in place is important to help reduce the number of road accidents.
Engineering measures can be particularly important for vulnerable
road users such as cyclists, for example in preventing accidents
by redesigning junctions.
We recommend that the Government includes engineering measures
in its outcomes framework, for example by providing EuroRAP assessments
of road safety.
51. The Government makes reference to "collaborative
research" as part of its road safety strategy.
In areas such as technology and engineering, Government may be
needed as a catalyst to bring together the relevant parties from
research and industry to help achieve policy objectives. Professor
Carsten told us that "the Government need to be a player
or UK plc, research establishments, vehicle manufacturers and
other technology providers need to work together".
However, the Government gave little detail regarding the its
to contribute to organising such initiatives. The strategy does
outline plans to encourage the development of technologies at
EU level. Specific
commitments include proposals to amend standards for HGV mirrors
and work in the European Commission to develop standards under
the Intelligent Transport Systems Directive.
that the Government provides an update on progress in those areas
which it committed to developing at an EU level in the last road
safety strategy and sets out forthcoming areas for prioritisation.
142 Strategic Framework p11 Back
Q 234, Q 235, Ev 111 para 23, Ev 113 para 4.3 Back
Q 233, Q 234 Back
Q 33 Back
Strategic Framework p39 Back
Q 233 Back
Strategic Framework p 30 Back
Strategic Framework p 31 Back