Commenting on the Department for Road and Transport’s (DfT) publication yesterday (22 Nov) of the Government’s response to the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy: safety review, Ms Hernandez said:
“Last year in Britain, 1793 people lost their lives due to road traffic collisions. In addition, many thousands were seriously injured, and many were life changing injuries. Although the number of fatalities on Britain’s roads has fallen dramatically in the past, in recent years this decline has stalled.
“I am pleased to see the response to the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy: safety review. The number of needless deaths and serious injuries on our roads is a national crisis and must be urgently addressed. The package of measures outlined yesterday in the midst of BRAKE Road Safety week signals some welcome steps to make the roads safer for some of our most vulnerable road users, notably cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.
“The Government’s announcement of a cash boost to assist the police manage helmet/ dash cam footage submitted by cyclists and motorists is to be welcomed. Op Snap which originated in Wales and has been introduced in several police force areas is proven to be a productive and cost-effective way to address some of the poor driving behaviours displayed by dangerous motorists. When I met with the Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman recently, we discussed this and I am pleased to see that this matter has been considered seriously and backed up with new funds The wider roll out of Op Snap will enable the police to increase enforcement, remove dangerous motorists from the road and protect vulnerable road users including cyclists and horse riders.
“The APCC will watch with interest plans to consider introducing compulsory cycle training as part of the sentencing arrangements for dangerous driving offences when cyclists are the victims.
“Speed awareness courses are an important education element in road safety. They require offending drivers to consider the potential consequences of their actions and the harm they may have caused. Expanding this type of intervention has the potential to address a wider range of road safety offences. As long as these courses continue to be used appropriately and not seen as the soft option, we welcome the announcement to expand their use in the sentencing framework.
“PCCs will also be encouraged by the additional powers to be made available to local authorities to enforce the illegal parking in cycle lanes by motorists, without the need for the police to witness the offence themselves. This will both free up police time and ensure those who thoughtlessly flout these safety rules will be held accountable.
“We know that enforcement and safer road layout can only go so far. At the end of the day every time we are in charge of a vehicle, we have personal responsibility to our passengers and other road users. Therefore, we also welcome the announcement for more research to look at what more can be done to change driver behaviour for the better when they are behind the wheel. It is everyone’s responsibility to make our roads safer.”
Read the Govt's press release here.