Everyone in the motor trade industry will be interested to read that back in June 2022, the UK government published plans to set up the first official body with a remit to report on road safety.
Named the Road Safety Investigation Branch (RSIB), the purpose of this organisation will be to help shape our road safety policy going forward as well as independently report and prepare safety recommendations.
UK road networks have seen a huge investment over recent years, like moves to smart motorways and many other road widening projects, plus an overhaul in technology aimed at keeping motorists safe.
However, a high level of incidents and accidents across the network remain, with an estimated cost to the economy of some £30 billion annually, as well as considerable extra pressure on our medical staff and the NHS.
Not only is there an expensive human cost but also an upward pressure on all our insurance policy prices. Both private and motor trade Insurance brokers and companies will always study and analyse what factors lead to road accidents and adjust premiums accordingly.
RSIB figurehead and Roads Minister Baroness Vere believes that the new government body can work in collaboration with many other groups, including the police, motor trade and other industry bodies to investigate trends in motoring accidents and serious crashes.
This will help inform changes and decisions to make motoring safer for everyone.
There will also be studies into the impact of new technologies such as self-driving cars, the roles of garage mechanics and other motor trade professionals that keep all our petrol, diesel, and electric vehicles safe, and how infrastructure like smart motorways work.
The RSIB will be positioned so that it can make independent recommendations on how to improve Britain’s levels of road safety and will work closely with many other bodies to implement change.
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The UK already has a very safe network by world standards, yet there is always room for improvement to make drivers even safer.
Curiously, a body of this type has never existed to look at road safety, yet incidents and fatal accidents are far higher than other industries such as rail, air and shipping which all have regulatory safety-focused bodies in place.
There have been ongoing studies for several years into road traffic accidents, and analysts already work closely with the police and industry officials to provide evidence and support for new proposals and to monitor what changes to the road network work well or are lacking.
There is no suggestion that the new RSIB will have any role in punishing offenders or seek to point the finger at motorists responsible for accidents – that will remain the purview of the police going forward.
The RSIB does not yet formally exist but is expected to form a key part of the forthcoming Transport Bill which will set out the direction for UK motoring and other national transport for the foreseeable future.