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How to save lives through a targeted approach to road safety

Last month's Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2016 annual report revealed a 4% increase in the number of reported road deaths. While this is not a large increase, it represents yet another year of no improvement in safety on our roads. The trend for the number of fatalities on the UKís roads has remained largely flat since 2010 with an average of five people killed in road accidents every day.

At Clearview, we support the many initiatives to bring this figure down. As part of the European Transport Safety Councilís PIN programme the UK has a target of reducing road deaths by 50% from 2010 to 2020. Highways England are aiming to bring the number of people killed or injured on their network as close as possible to zero by 2040, with a 40% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by 2020. Local councils are equally committed to reducing the number of deaths on our roads, but now lack the set targets they had been given by central government since the abolition of casualty reduction targets in 2010.

It feels like the country is nowhere near meeting these ambitions. But what can we do to reverse the trend in the most recent road safety figures and ultimately help people avoid the devastating suffering caused by road accidents?

The biggest road safety gains come from targeting the most dangerous stretches of road

The Department for Transportís (DfT) Safer Roads Fund of £175 million, available to local authorities responsible for Englandís top 50 high-risk roads, was announced last year and earlier this month the RAC Foundation provided implementation guidelines for authorities tackling high-risk regional roads.

We support these initiatives and agree that a targeted approach to road safety will yield the biggest improvements in accident rates and fatalities. Identifying where on the network the most frequent and serious accidents occur will allow these routes to be prioritised. Establishing whether there are any trends to these accidents, such as a higher incidence at night or several speeding related accidents, will then allow the most appropriate and effective solution to be implemented.

Targeted solutions can range from the relatively straightforward such as resurfacing and new lining to more technical solutions such as those designed by Clearview.

Award-winning technology to target dangerous roads

Should the identified issues relate to night time road safety, our active road studs can help by providing a view of the road ahead through solar powered LEDs embedded in the surface of the road. This increases the drivers view of the road from the 90m achieved with traditional catís eyes to 900m, thus providing far more time for the driver to react to changes in the road ahead.

This technology was used to transform the A4128 in Buckinghamshire from one of the highest to one of the lowest risk routes according to the Road Safety Foundation. The same SolarLite road studs are transforming the driving experience on the A1 by improving general visibility and highlighting oncoming junctions to drivers. This installation was recognised at last nightís Highways Awards, being shortlisted in the Road Marking Project of the Year category. Last year, our accident reduction scheme on the A720 Sheriffhall Roundabout won this, plus five other industry awards.

Where speed is the issue, Clearview have solutions to monitor speed and encourage compliance. To combat the issue of drivers, and especially HGV drivers, exceeding the speed limit on the A75 Stranraer to Gretna Green road, we combined speed detection, vehicle classification and vehicle activated signage to present a slow down sign specific to the speed limit of the vehicle. Again, our solution was recognised at last nightís Highways Awards as winner of the Road Safety Scheme of the year.

Road safety solutions can be targeted right down to the level of a single junction. We have designed a variety of such solutions, each is tailored to the road layout and user behaviour that is causing issues, but all detect what is happening at the junction and present this information back to the driver on the approach. This real-time information ensures regular drivers of the route do not become blind to the warnings and approach the junction safely.

If you have a dangerous stretch of road or a problem junction, get in touch with our award-winning solutions team to understand how to transform a route from high-risk to low-risk and make a real difference to road safety.
Uploaded 19/10/2017