Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has added its support to calls for a new European target to reduce serious road injuries. GEM is also calling for also targets to be re-introduced as part of the UK’s road safety policy.
GEM chief executive David Williams MBE said: “We know that targets have been a successful driver of reduction in road deaths. That’s why we are in favour of setting a tough long-term target for reducing serious injuries on our roads by 50 per cent.
“It’s worrying to observe that more than 200,000 people suffer life-changing injuries on Europe’s roads every year, and numbers increased by three per cent in 2014. The UK saw a small reduction in injuries for the year ending September 2015.
“Bear in mind that there have been significant advances in potentially life-saving vehicle safety technology over recent years, so there is the potential for substantial reductions in the number of people being seriously injured on our roads.
“However, technology alone cannot solve the problem. We believe setting tough targets for serious injury reduction would help road safety professionals, the police and the courts to address the human factors and the pressing issue of driver behaviour. Consolidated action here to crack down on the worst offenders would play a significant role in reducing injuries”.
Road casualty reduction targets were introduced by Conservative roads safety minister Peter Bottomley in the 1980s. They have been credited with galvanising effort across the board to drive down deaths and injuries on the roads. However, they were abolished in May 2011 under transport secretary Philip Hammond.