The following recommendations originated from feedback from SPB and OPG as well as from public consultation responses.
Improved funding and resources
The framework was not a funded strategy. To mitigate this a Road Safety Framework Fund was introduced in 2016 and was designed to promote and encourage further partnership working to help ensure the delivery of the framework.
Transport Scotland working in collaboration with partners identified that, although many road safety initiative were taking place, there was not a full in-depth evaluation on the outcomes and the impact that these were having on road safety as a whole. The Road Safety Framework Evaluation Fund was therefore introduced in 2018 and has provided financial support to evaluate road safety initiatives.
The Road Safety Evaluation Fund focuses on the retrospective evaluation and the wider impact interventions are having on road safety. A robust, independent, and open evidenced-base helps provide clear evidence of the effectiveness and the impact our road safety interventions are having.
An understanding of how road safety interventions function – both in terms of their effectiveness in delivering outputs, aims and objectives, and the eventual broader impacts on road safety – is essential to inform strategic decision-making and the allocation of resources. Both OPG and SPB scrutinised the applications received for both the Road Safety Framework and Evaluation Fund.
Each initiative funded by the Road Safety Framework and Evaluation Fund focused on at least one of the three Key Priority Areas: age, speed and vulnerable road users. All initiatives that received funding through the Road Safety Framework and Evaluation Fund are shared on the Transport Scotland Website.
Although road traffic casualties have decreased since the funds were introduced, it is difficult to evidence that these reductions can be only attributed to these funds.
The issue of funding and resources was raised during the evaluation process, with comments received in the public consultation responses that funding on infrastructure is underfunded in many areas, or funding will be needed for engineering improvements or enforcement. There was a general perception that without funding and resources, it will not be possible to achieve the vision or the outcomes of the new framework to 2030. It was primarily organisations – often local authorities and public sector organisations – which referred to a need for greater levels of funding and resources. Some respondents advised that it should be possible to demonstrate that road safety is a good investment as it offers longer term savings in relation to, for example, a reduction in hospital admissions, reductions in police time spent on road collisions, and so on.
- Consider introduction of a Road Safety Improvement Fund to help road authorities meet the challenging 2030 road casualty reduction targets.
National Conversation to make all road traffic casualties unacceptable
During an SPB workshop held in summer 2018 to reflect on the framework and plan for the next one, members discussed improvement ideas in order to address the issue of ‘how will you continue to reduce the number of road deaths, and serious accidents on the road, with fewer resources having competing demands placed upon them?’ One of two projects selected was called “National Conversation on road safety” with the aim to change the current road safety culture which considers road deaths as normal.
It would be incumbent on partners working to deliver the new framework’s vision and targets to ensure casualty reduction - and road safety more generally - is raised higher up the agenda and to this end, partners should be keen to see a National Conversation on road safety. The aim of the National Conversation would therefore encourage greater personal responsibility for all and a change in perception which ultimately should lead to a transformation of road safety culture.
- Consider undertaking a “National Conversation on road safety” to make all road traffic casualties unacceptable.