Road Safety Framework: Annual Report 2014

UK Road Safety Strategy

Much of the legislation that relates to road safety is reserved to the United Kingdom Government. For example, signage and engineering measures, such as speed humps, are regulated by the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. More generally, the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Road Traffic Act 1988 regulates a number of road safety related duties at a local level.

In November 2014 Lord Smith published his Commission's Report, which recommended more powers for the Scottish Parliament. The UK Government's draft bill in response to that includes provisions to devolve the remaining powers to change speed limits and over all road traffic signs to the Scottish Parliament.

The UK Government's approach to continuing casualty reduction on Britain's roads is set out in its Strategic Framework, published in 2011. This differs from Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2020 in that the UK Government has not set UK-wide casualty reduction targets. The focus is on increasing the range of educational options for drivers who make genuine mistakes and can be helped to improve while, at the same time, improving enforcement against the most dangerous and deliberate offenders.

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UK Regulatory and Legislative Activity

The UK Government has been developing policy on driverless cars during 2014. Technological advances in cars mean that fully autonomous driverless cars will become a reality in the future. In the meantime, there are already semi-autonomous vehicles on our roads offering driver assistance through systems such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS), automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. A thorough legal and regulatory review has been conducted and concluded that testing of driverless vehicles was possible on UK roads. The UK Government announced that it wanted to conduct testing of autonomous vehicles on the streets and launched a competition to find UK towns or cities to trial driverless cars. Testing has now commenced in Greenwich, Milton Keynes, Coventry and Bristol.