Mid-Term Review

Road Safety Framework: Annual Report 2016

Mid-Term Review

SPB members and road safety experts held review meetings throughout 2015 to ensure that any output had the agreement, support and co-ownership of a broad range of our delivery partners. The three PFA identified by the review were chosen to support a coordinated re-focussing and redoubling of effort:

Priority Focus Areas







Drivers aged 17 to 25

Older drivers

Vulnerable road users



The Review further enhanced Framework performance by setting outcomes and indicators specific to the PFA. The outcomes were deemed sufficiently challenging to be in-step with the Framework's ambitious casualty reduction targets, but still attainable by the delivery partners. The SDP and meeting results were presented to – and subsequently approved by – the SPB in March 2016. The Review process ultimately strengthened the identification, monitoring and improvement of key factors affecting road safety to 2020. It was also determined that all relevant information and intelligence would be reviewed regularly to gauge how the Framework performs against the identified and agreed indicators.

An outcomes-based approach to road safety activity is essential in providing qualitative evidence for measuring the outcomes aimed at changing the behaviours and attitudes of road users. The SPB will, through a regular monitoring process, identify where strategic focus on-going activity or resources should be best directed and coordinated by delivery partners to meet the targets.

Priority Commitments

In conducting the Review, it was necessary to account for the progress already made on the existing Framework commitments supporting each of the PFA. This identified gaps in activity that needed to be addressed; for example, some revisions were made to existing commitments, and a new commitment on Elderly Pedestrian Casualties was identified. Key commitments were identified and ranked in terms of their likely impact on reducing casualty numbers in the years to 2020. This will help delivery partners prioritise and coordinate their road safety activities to where the greatest impact can be achieved. Nevertheless, partners are still able to retain the Framework's flexibility, which allows them to offer local solutions to local issues.

To support a range of activity to aid Framework delivery, Ministers maintained the provision of an annual Framework fund from the 2016/17 budget. The SPB agreed at its meeting on 10 March 2016 that the fund would be used to support activities or projects which would contribute to the Framework outcomes identified in the Review. The selected projects are outlined in the framework funding section on page 26.

Safe System

The Review explored the Safe System approach (SSA) to road safety, which recognises that humans as road users are fallible and will make mistakes. SSA also recognises that there are limits to the kinetic energy exchange which humans can tolerate; for example, during the rapid deceleration associated with a crash, before serious injury or death occurs. SSA necessitates that the design of any road system takes account of these errors and vulnerabilities, helping avoid death or serious injury on the road.

The Framework already contains many of the components of SSA. For instance, it aims to reduce road risk by setting intermediate road safety targets for casualty reductions in 2015 and 2020, to systematically help the move towards Vision Zero. However, the Review saw value in formally adopting SSA going forward to 2020, particularly with SSA being the overarching principle behind the SDP.

SSA has also been adopted by the Strategic Road Safety Plan. While local roads are under the jurisdiction of Local Authorities, trunk roads are managed by the Scottish Government – specifically, the Trunk Roads and Bus Operations division of Transport Scotland. The Strategic Road Safety Plan, published in 2007 and revised alongside the Framework Review, sets out how Transport Scotland delivers road safety on the trunk road network.

Framework Governance

Since 2009 the management, monitoring and delivery of the Framework have been jointly undertaken by both the SPB and OPG. The importance of this collaborative approach was emphasised in 2016 by the strengthening of both groups' governance structure, allowing for a greater fluidity of communication between them, while maintaining a formal structure. Whilst the SPB maintains its overarching strategic responsibilities, membership was streamlined, with existing SPB members with a delivery focus becoming OPG members. In addition, the OPG remit was enhanced to enable it to report more widely on current and recent work programmes for both the respective organisations and on-road safety partners' activities. Therefore, the OPG is primarily responsible for the monitoring, analysis and distillation of evidence and information on activities being undertaken by partners towards the delivery of identified outcomes and underlying commitments. This is then reported to the SPB to assist in shaping and steering strategic direction.

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