The Road Safety Advisory Panel – chaired by the Road Safety Minister, David Jamieson – met for the seventh time on 29 January 2003. The meeting included reports on proposals for the first three-yearly review of the Road Safety Strategy, recent work of the RSAP Statistics sub-group, developments on the Child Road Safety Action Plan, work related road safety, the Highways Agency’s road safety action plan, the European Road Assessment Programme, DfT publicity campaigns and road safety in Scotland and Wales. The next meeting is arranged for 30 October. The minutes of RSAP meetings and the papers presented to it are posted on the DfT website

The Government’s Road Safety Strategy, Tomorrow’s Roads – Safer for Everyone, launched in March 2000 included a commitment to evaluate every three years progress in delivering the strategy and towards achieving the casualty reduction targets set for 2010. The first review is now underway – RoadSafe in partnership with PACTS will be holding a conference in February 2004 ‘Targets 2010: No Room for Complacency’ this will review progress and look beyond these targets.


The Department’s child road safety action plan, Child Road Safety: Achieving the 2010 Target, was published in March 2003.

Pilot network of child pedestrian training schemes
Successful authorities for the third tranche of schemes were notified by 31 July 2003. Co-ordinators should be in place by January 2004 and children’s training is expected to commence in the summer term.

Road safety education
In partnership with police and road safety officers, Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has been implementing its Schools Programme (Arrive Alive) aimed at young people aged 15-17, addressing driving and road safety issues. DSA plans to deliver 6,000 presentations in 2003/04.
This programme won a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2002.

The ‘Get Across Road Safety’ booklets are now available in dual languages namely Bengali, Gujeraji, Punjabi and Urdu.

Year 6 lesson plans for literacy hour will shortly be added to the schools website. Consideration is being given to adding languages later this year. New lesson plan material is being considered following the Education Show on 12 – 15 March 2003.


The School Travel Advisory Group (STAG) was set up to find ways to encourage walking, cycling or taking the bus or train to school. The main recommendations of the STAG report are the provision of better travel facilities at schools, better and more affordable bus travel to school, better training for bus drivers, improved enforcement of speed, parking and other traffic regulations, developing children’s skills, understanding and awareness needed to behave safely and responsibly in traffic, and raising driver awareness of safety issues.

The three Government Departments involved (DfT, DfES and DH) are already taking forward a programme of action including research, guidance and support for local authorities and schools in response to the recommendations contained in the first report of STAG. The road safety strategy sets out the detailed programme for taking action to improve child road safety. Guidance on full local transport plans now also asks local authorities to include in their plans an integrated strategy for reducing car use and improving children’s safety on the journey to school, having regard to STAG’s aim and proposals for monitoring progress. Funding announced in the local transport capital expenditure settlement in December 2002 (£1.6 billion) for 2003/04, will help local authorities to implement school travel related initiatives.

In February 2001 the then DETR awarded local authority bursaries to fund 57 school travel plan co-ordinator posts and 17 joint school/workplace travel plan co-ordinator posts. In addition, DfT is now offering free site specific consultancy advice to schools preparing school travel plans. STAG will continue to monitor progress on implementing the recommendations.


The new PSA target for the department includes tackling the significantly higher incidence (of casualties) in disadvantaged communities.

As a result, on 25 October 2002, Mr Spellar launched the Dealing with Disadvantage initiative in Greater Manchester. £17.6 million has been allocated over three years (from March 2003) to help authorities deal with road safety issues in their disadvantaged areas. Greater Manchester was chosen for the launch, as 10 of the worst authorities in the country for child pedestrian problems are in this area. The rate of child pedestrian casualties has been shown to be at its highest in disadvantaged areas.

The Department is working in partnership with the councils to identify causes and tailored solutions to the problems. £12 million has been allocated to the Greater Manchester area to tackle these issues. This includes a central road safety team to develop innovative interventions.. More general guidance was issued to local highway authorities, at the beginning of April as part of the APR guidance for the coming year. An invitation to four further authorities to participate in the initiative was issued in August 2003.

A successful scheme in Hull has been identified by RoadSafe as ‘best practice’ with a Prince Michael award this year.


The Government’s response to the Transport Select Committee, published last year, outlined the work either currently being undertaken or work being planned for the future to reduce the effects of inappropriate and excessive speed.

Rural areas remain a particular concern and work is progressing to address this. Consultants are currently working on the development of a framework to assess what speeds are appropriate together with what speeds are actually being driven on rural roads. A new Traffic Advisory Leaflet specifically addressing the concerns about village speed limits is currently being prepared and we expect it to be available in the Autumn.

In addition, we will be reviewing and updating the Department’s advice on the setting of local speed limits (Circular Roads 1/93). The work currently being done on rural speed management together with advice on urban speed limits such as 20mph zones will be included and we expect a first draft to be available in early 2004.


The programme of research continues. An ”Impairment Bulletin” is produced periodically to cover all research on alcohol drugs and fatigue which would be more user-friendly than individual research project findings. Copies of the bulletin can be obtained from Joanna Asiedu, Road Safety Division, Telephone 020 7944 2038. Police forces continue to train officers in Drug Influence Recognition Techniques and Field Impairment Testing skills. Legislation was made in the Railway and Transport Safety Act 2003 to require drivers to provide samples for screening and/or participate in Field Impairment Testing at the roadside. However, before the police use mandatory Field Impairment Testing, a code of practice needs to be finalised. A roadside screening device is also being developed and will be introduced once it receives Type Approval from the Home Office.


The Road Safety Strategy recognises that better driving skills and better driving behaviour would make an enormous difference in helping to reduce the number of road casualties. The strategy therefore announced that the Government would introduce measures to:

• instil in young people the right attitudes towards road safety and driving;
• encourage a more structured approach to learning to drive;
• raise the standard of driving instruction;
• keep the driving test up to date; and
• reduce the accident risk for novice, older and professional drivers.

The Department is working closely with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to deliver these commitments. DSA is liasing with the driver training industry about modernising the arrangements for those wishing to become approved driving instructors (ADIs) and for those already in the profession. The ADI theory test in the qualifying examination has been enhanced, with the question bank published, expanded and a third distractor added. In addition, ADI appeals were transferred to the Transport Tribunal on 1 April 2002 and other enforcement/appeals powers came into effect from the same date.

RoadSafe responded to a consultation document on various measures to achieve the necessary level of driving experience was published on 1 March 2002. The options which we supported included: A logbook to help structure training and to provide a syllabus; a compulsory period for that training; possibilities for a range of pre-test training measures and post-test restrictions; and the possible introduction of compulsory probationary “P” plates for novice drivers. A wide range of views was received from some 320 organisations and individuals. These are being carefully considered with a view to making an announcement on the way forward later in the year. Everyone who submitted comments will be informed of the results of the consultation.

RoadSafe supports the changes to the practical driving test introduced from 1 September. These are part of a package of measures introduced by the European Commission in 2000. Candidates are now required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how to carry out simple vehicle or machine checks – at the start of the test candidates are asked two questions about the vehicle or machine checks they would carry out before driving or riding. For tests involving a trailer, the uncoupling/re-coupling exercise was revised – candidates have to park alongside the trailer and then drive forward and re-couple. In addition, candidates for lorry tests are required to park in a simulated loading bay.

The hazard perception testing element, which RoadSafe has campaigned for was introduced into the theory test in November 2002. The pass-mark was raised in planned stages throughout 2003, with the final increase taking place on 1 September. A free information video, explaining how the new theory test operates, was sent to all candidates for a period up until May 2003. The official training material, entitled Roadsense, is available from high street outlets in the form of a video/workbook package. Roadsense was made available in DVD format in June 2003.

For older drivers, the Department has issued new advice on safe driving ”Drive on!” and encourages the use of refresher courses. The advice is available on the Department’s website at: DSA launched its Arrive Alive Classic programme in spring 2003. The programme is aimed at the over 50’s.


The Road Safety Minister, David Jamieson, announced on 24 June that driving while using a hand-held mobile phone would soon be a specific offence. The offence will come into force on 1 December 2003. A copy of the decision letter and summary of responses document can be found on the Department’s website.


The Road Safety Strategy announced that the HSE would set up a task group to consider how to reduce the number of work-related road incidents. The Task Group published its report in November 2001 and the HSC has provided its advice on the recommendations. RoadSafe’s leading programme is in support of DfT and HSE in taking forward a programme of work over the next 3- 5 years to reduce at-work road traffic incidents.

HSE issued new guidance, on 17 September 2003 to help employers manage road risk. The guidance ”DRIVING AT WORK – Managing Work-Related Road Safety” is available on HSE’s website at:

DSA established a voluntary register of driving instructors specialising in fleet driver training in April 2002. This will be made mandatory when a suitable legislative opportunity arises.

DSA is also leading the UK’s involvement within the EU in the development of a Training Directive aimed at compulsory initial training and periodic retraining of professional drivers of lorries, buses, minibuses and coaches. Once the terms of the Directive are finalised, DSA will consult about how to transpose it into domestic law.


The latest set of Euro NCAP results, which were published in June 2003, included more vehicles achieving 4 and 5 stars for occupant protection.


The has confirmed its support the European Commission proposal to introduce a directive covering pedestrian protection requirements in cars, The proposal is currently going through the EU co-decision procedure and is expected to be adopted by council this autumn.


The Government published its conclusions to the penalties review in July 2002. In the light of this, it is intended to increase the maximum penalty for the offences of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving, Causing Death by Careless Driving when under the influence of Drink or Drugs and Aggravated Vehicle Taking when a death results from 10 to 14 years’ imprisonment. These changes will be implemented by means of amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill, now before Parliament.


The Government announced in March 2002 that it had decided not to make any change to the drink-drive legal limit (currently 80mg/100ml). The Government believes that alternative measures, particularly enforcement and education through publicity, may be just as effective as a lower limit in reducing drinking and driving. It is planning, amongst other things, to strengthen police powers to enforce drink-drive laws, including provision for evidential roadside breath testing, extended publicity campaigns, including targeting of specific groups, and a study into breath alcohol interlock devices (”alcolocks”) as a means of preventing re-offending.


The Government is looking at the structure of driving offences provided for by the Road Traffic Acts. RoadSafe is involved in the review looking at all aspects of bad driving offences, including both dangerous and careless driving. Amongst other sources, the review will draw upon work already undertaken for DfT by the Transport Research Laboratory on the way in which the ”Dangerous Driving” offences have been used by the police, the prosecution agencies and the courts since their introduction in the Road Traffic Act 1991.


A package of measures improving moped and motorcycle training, testing and licensing arrangements was implemented in February 2001. In January 2002, DSA produced a motorcycle What If video and workbook and gave copies to training organisations. The Agency has also produced a leaflet aimed at those returning to motorcycling after a break. In November 2002, the theory tests for all learner drivers and riders was updated and now includes an exercise designed to assess hazard perception.

DSA continues to work with the training industry on developing the training syllabus for pre-test riders and standards for motorcycle trainers. The Agency is also working in partnership with trainers and the motorcycle manufacturers to look at improving the standard of post-test rider training.

A TV commercial and associated trade advertising asking drivers and riders to look out for each other was launched in May 2002.

DSA has consulted on arrangements for delivery of a revised practical motorcycle test including higher European driving test standards. The results of the consultation are expected before the end of the year.


There have now been two High Court decisions in 2000 and 2002 which confirmed that a motorised scooter which is similar to a child’s scooter, but propelled by either an internal combustion engine or an electric motor, is a motor vehicle within the meaning of Section 185 of the Road Traffic Act. To be used on the road, the vehicle would need to comply with Construction and Use Regulations, be taxed and insured and would be subject to MOT requirements. The rider would need to hold a driving licence and wear a motorcycle helmet.

The High Court decision in 2002 found that a particular motorised scooter fitted with small pedals did not fall into the category of an electrically assisted pedal cycle.


On 6 May 1999 the Government established an Advisory Group on Motorcycling. The Group brings together government, representatives of the industry and those interested in the effects of motorcycling to discuss a range of issues which will assist the Department in developing well informed policies. The AGM has set up Task Forces to consider research, vehicle safety and security, integration and traffic management, statistics, and environment and fiscal issues. An Interim Report was published in April 2001. Copies are available from DFT at P.O. Box 236, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 7NB (Tel: 08701226 236; Fax: 0870 1226 237; The Report is also available on the DfT website at The Government has committed to determining its motorcycle strategy by 2004.


In 2002, following the publication of research on motorcyclists vision, the Department consulted on possible changes to the permitted level of tint in visors. Many responses were received from individual motorcyclists who favoured dark tints saying that they are the best way to reduce glare, whilst road safety organisations expressed concerns about risks to the safety of other vulnerable road users such as pedestrians.

All the views and contributions from those who responded to the consultation were carefully considered. Essentially there were two disparate views, one for and one against dark visors, but in the end a decision was taken to retain the current level of tint for visors at 50%.

It is hoped that technological solutions may provide the best way forward, and standards bodies have been urged to encourage their development so that in the longer term visor designs lend themselves equally to both day and night time use.


The BMWC1 is a motorcycle produced by BMW which they claim does not require the wearing of a helmet. It is a motorcycle in the sense of two wheels and controls. But has certain features similar to a car. It has a seatbelt, and it has a roof. The rider is effectively within a cage. A number of European countries have allowed a derogation from helmet wearing. We and Sweden, the two countries with the best road safety records, have not. VSE were not satisfied that the testing undertaken by BMW justified the claims and were in a dialogue with BMW about further testing. However, BMW withdrew from that dialogue and we understand are to cease production of the model. But there are other similar vehicles coming onto the market.
Certain BMWC1 owners have been riding without helmets. Recently we learned that the Bedfordshire police had lost a case heard at a Magistrates court. The case hinged upon interpretation of the Motor Cycle (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1998. Regulation 4 applies the compulsory wearing of helmets when driving or riding “on” a motor bicycle. The challenge, which has been upheld by the magistrates, is that the rider is “in” the vehicle, and so does not require a helmet.

The Department’s view is that helmets must be worn by riders of the C1 and similar vehicles. Interpretation of the law is, of course, a matter for the courts and we note the contrary court ruling. However the CPS has since lodged an appeal. We are awaiting the outcome of this and will be considering the implications.


Regulations which will require a bell to be fitted on all new adult pedal cycles at the point of sale, will introduce a requirement for the brakes to be correctly adjusted and will introduce requirements relating to the sale of cycles in kit form were laid before Parliament on 15 April 2003. They will come into force on 1 May 2004.


The Department is assessing the results of a consultation on proposals to allow cyclists to use additional lamps to improve their conspicuity at night. The proposal is to allow flashing front and rear lamps to be used in conjunction with steady lamps and to permit white or amber lights to be used in wheels and pedals.


A research review of the effectiveness of cycle helmets was published in November 2002 as Road Safety Research Report No.30. It concluded that cycle helmets are effective at reducing the severity of brain and upper facial injuries for all ages, and especially children.


Work on the CTC adult cycle training project is completed. It was launched at CTC’s cycle training conference on 12th May 2003.


The Department launched a cycle safety campaign for teenagers in May 2003. The campaign will encourage teenagers to wear cycle helmets. The campaign will consist of a new TV filler film, poster and leaflet and a new teenage website.


A radio filler aimed at making drivers more aware of horse riders was released by the COI in December 2001. A TV filler and a revised leaflet was launched at Badminton Horse Trials in May 2002.


Local authorities in England (outside London) submitted their first full, five year Local Transport Plans (LTPs) at the end of July 2000. Their third LTP Annual Progress Reports covering full LTPs were submitted at the end of July 2003. In December 2002 Alistair Darling announced allocations for local authorities totalling £1.6 billion for local transport capital expenditure for 2003-2004. This was the third instalment of the Department’s investment promise. It adds to the £1.36 billion and £1.58 billion announced in the last two financial years.

The Road Safety Strategy commits the Department to monitor local authority road safety performance. Investment monitoring forms were issued to all English LHAs in January and full results will be presented to regional groups at meetings through the Summer and Autumn. RSD included in the Guidance on Full Local Transport Plans detail on the data required by the Department.


DfT are running a series of road safety demonstration projects to develop and test, in partnership with selected local authorities, practical solutions to dealing with road safety problems in busy urban areas.

The Gloucester Safer City project began in April 1996 and ran for five years until March 2001. It was recognised with a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2000. Its objective was to reduce casualties in the City by at least one third by April 2002 (compared with the baseline average for 1991 – 95). Funding of £5m was made available over the five year period. A road hierarchy was developed and a range of traffic calming techniques were used to manage traffic on to appropriate routes, complemented by education, training and publicity activity. The final project report will be published in September 2003 and the results so far are encouraging, with deaths and serious injuries down by 38 per cent. The lessons from Gloucester Safer City have been assembled in revised Guidelines for Urban Safety Management to be published in September 2003.

In May 2001 local highway authorities in England were invited to bid for inclusion in a demonstration project for Mixed Priority Routes. These roads often carry high volumes of traffic but, also support high levels of pedestrian activity. In addition to the casualty problems arising from these circumstances, these areas often create poor quality environments where communities are severed and pedestrians and cyclists feel threatened by the dominance of traffic. The intention of the project is to develop and test the effectiveness of practical solutions in partnership with local highway authorities, and to develop a good practice guide which will be made available to all local authorities. DfT funding of up to £1m per scheme will be made available to cover development and construction of the schemes. The first five schemes are in Lambeth, Norwich, Manchester, Leamington Spa, and Crewe. The schemes are likely to be built during 2003 and 2004, following design work and public consultation. Before and after monitoring will be carried out as part of the evaluation of the schemes. A further five schemes, in Hull, Liverpool, Oxford, St Albans and Southwark, were announced in December 2002.

In July 2002 DfT launched an Inner City Safety Demonstration Project to show how an integrated, partnership approach to the management of deprived inner city areas can reduce casualties and improve the quality of life for local people. In June 2003, it was announced that Birmingham City Council had been awarded the project. Grant funding of the order of £6 million will be made available over the six year life of the project. The project will build upon the experiences from Gloucester Safer City, but will go further, building partnerships for delivery from a range of local authority services such as education, health, and social care. Effective community involvement will also be key in the development and delivery of the strategy. Lessons learnt from the project will form the basis of good practice guidance.


Road Casualties in Great Britain: Main Results:2002 was published on 26 June. A copy can be found in the statistics section of the DfT web site. This was the first release of final 2002 figures and provides information on numbers of casualties by main road user group. There is also a table giving casualties by severity by police force.  [Table missing. See the above URL]

The experimental quarterly series which provides provisional estimates of personal injury road accidents and their casualties has been published for the 3rd and 4th quarters. Estimates for the first quarter of 2003 estimates will be published on 7th August giving the total number of road casualties and accidents in the first quarter 2002 and more detailed final figures estimates (of casualties among different road user groups, road classes and child casualties) fourth for the first quarter 2002. Third quarter estimates were published on 6 February and the 4th quarter figures will be on the web on 1 May.

The THINK! road safety campaign was launched on 1 June 2000. TV, radio and poster advertising has encouraged everyone to ‘think!’ about how they use the road. Many third parties have come on board to help us to promote road safety messages. Specific messages in national advertising have included drink driving, speed, driver fatigue, mobile phones, rear seat belt wearing and child road safety reminders Details of the Think! campaign are on the Think! website at
Activity in 2003.

The Think! road safety campaign encourages all road users to be alert to their own and others’ safety, and will continue to highlight a range of key road safety messages. Advertising runs more or less continuously and the Department continues to make available support materials and briefing to road safety officers, police forces and others running regional and local activities. Many companies in the private sector are involved in promoting Think! road safety messages and we shall continue to encourage further activity.
Child road safety.

A new TV advert featuring the popular hedgehog characters was launched in August 2003 to remind children that even familiar roads can be dangerous. Advice for parents and teachers is available, including Getting across road safety, available since the beginning of 2003. The leaflets are also available in dual language versions including Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali and Gujerati.

Free school lesson plans and teaching materials tying in with the national curriculum for primary and secondary key stages and reflecting road safety topics are available.

Teenage pedestrian road safety
12 to 16 year olds are at greater risk as pedestrians than any other age group. Cinema advertising aimed at getting them to recognise and pay more attention to this risk is running this year. The advert is also being shown on teenage TV channels. An outdoor poster campaign in the graphical style of computer games is running in September 2003.

Speed remains a key issue. Driving too fast is a factor in at least a third of road traffic fatalities. We continue to address this with Think! Slow Down TV and radio advertising throughout the year as indicated in the Think! calendar.

Driver fatigue
The Department launched its fatigue advertising in August 2000, following research from Loughborough Sleep Research Unit which indicated that perhaps as many as 300 deaths a year might result from drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Regular Radio advertising throughout the spring and summer has helped to raise the profile of this message. Truckback advertising has also been used to reinforce the message throughout the country.

”Now you see him now you don’t” advertising ran for the August bank holiday period, a time when motorbikes are traditionally on the road in greater numbers. Another element of the campaign is aimed at riders of high-powered bikes who crash without another vehicle involved – probably due to high speeds. Leaflets and posters are available on this.

Drink driving
Drink driving is a year round issue. TV advertising launched in October 2002 has run since then. The Department also ‘sponsored’ the Great Britain Rugby Football League for the 2002-03 season gaining significant visibility for the drink drive message, particularly in televised matches. Support materials continue to be developed for the campaign. Radio is also being run and will target early morning drinkers during the last two weeks of the Rugby World Cup in November. There will be activity to generate publicity in December in support of the radio and TV being aired in the run up to Christmas.

Seat belts
The seat belt campaign has been successful in increasing wearing rates. However, there is still a long way to go, particularly with adults. 4 out of every 10 adults still do not wear a seat belt when in the back of a car. 9 out of 10 drivers in built up areas wear a seat belt. Reminder advertising continues in 2003. A new TV film and support materials has been produced to run from September 2003. An interactive website to show what can happen during a crash if you are not wearing a seatbelt was also launched in tandem with the new TV ad.

Mobile phones and driving
Radio advertising has been the main medium for alerting the public to the hazards associated with using a mobile phone while driving. Further advertising is in development to support the proposed new legislation.

Drugs and driving
In June, the Department launched a website to inform about the effects of drugs on driving. This has been promoted through targeted advertising on websites and at music festivals during the summer.

Police and road safety officer involvement
Support for road safety messages locally and well publicised police enforcement campaigns have been a key factor in getting the road safety messages across in the community and on the road. See Think! magazine for examples. The Publicity team contributes to a quarterly newsletter to help keep police officers informed of campaign planning. A web site for Road Safety Officers at has been launched to keep them up to date on Think! campaigns.

Child car seats
A new child car seat campaign addresses the fact that parents often do not know what seat to use, how to fit it and when to change to a different type of seat. A new poster has been developed that will appear in mother and baby washrooms in motorway service stations and out of town shopping centres. New press ads will appear in women’s press, parenting titles and TV listings magazines.

Think! involvement in sport
Following last year’s successful tie up with the GB rugby league team, the DfT has signed up for the 2003-2004 season. In addition to a high level of visibility of Think! reminders at GB matches, the contract offers opportunities for RSOs to use team members in local road safety promotions. An agreement has also been made with the Football League to provide local road safety promotion opportunities.

Best practice conference
The DfT held a conference at the Millennium Conference Centre in London on 27 June 2003 aimed at sharing best practice in the promotion of road safety.

Publicity programme
A provisional campaign calendar giving current and future advertising plans is available on the Think! campaign website.