Vision Techniques

Vehicle safety technology vs. Casualty reduction targets

Despite repeated calls from industry professionals, the Department for Transport (DfT) has ruled out reintroducing targets to reduce the number of road casualties. They’ve suggested that local authorities are better placed to improve road safety, over having a centralised national target – which begs the question, is investment in vehicle safety technology perhaps a more appropriate measure?

History of road safety targets

Road safety targets were first introduced in 1987 and are seen by many as having played an important role in helping to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on UK roads.

Fleet News says there remains a “strong consensus” within the road safety community that targets can continue to play a key role in reducing deaths and serious injuries. What’s more, the European Commission believes that they increase political will, increase accountability, and lead to better safety programmes.

Despite this, the Government axed the road casualty reduction target in 2010. Since this time, despite there being no targets, road casualty levels have continued to reduce and are now at their lowest since records began. Compared to 2013, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured has gone down by 12% in London, despite increases in the number of people cycling. More generally, the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads has gone down 7% from 2013 – meeting the Mayor’s target of a 40% reduction in casualties six years earlier.

These latest statistic show that success in improving road safety performance by setting an arbitrary target alone is not guaranteed. Realistic interventions need to be implemented to make real change. With this in mind, harnessing intelligent and innovative solutions may hold the answer, and reduce road causalities with widespread use.

Harnessing technology to minimise causalities

At Vision Techniques, we see the value in forward-thinking safety technology, which is why we invest a lot of money and time into developing new products each year. Some of our popular products, used by fleets and in vehicles across the UK, include:

TurnSafe – a cyclist detection system designed to reduce collisions between cyclists and commercial, public and municipal vehicles. Comprising of three complementary systems – an alarm, sensor and camera – the integrated vehicle safety solution gives drivers a better chance of spotting cyclists, and warns cyclists and other road users to be aware of the presence of large vehicles.

TurnSign – an LED warning system designed specifically for waste vehicles, but suitable for any large vehicle. The high intensity LED can be installed to flash to pedestrians and cyclists when the driver indicates, or it can be set to flash all the time.

CLOCS, the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety report, also suggests that appropriate safety technology can play a huge role in reducing accidents, which is why they’ve implemented it into one of their streams.

To find out more about safety technology for your vehicle, visit our industries page, or give us a call on 01254 679 717.

What measures do you think are most appropriate for reducing casualties on Britain’s roads? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet your suggestions to us @VisionTechnique