Overview

Overview

Road Safety Framework to 2020

Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 (the Framework), published in 2009, sets out Scotland’s road safety vision, outlining a set of targets and commitments (96 in total) for reducing road deaths and serious injuries to 2020. 

The Framework set deliberately challenging road safety targets, with road deaths separated from serious injuries to achieve significant casualty reductions in four distinct areas:

Scottish Reported Road Safety Casualties

 Target

 2004-2008 Average

 2015 Milestones

 2015

 2016

 2020
Targets

 Fatalities 

292

204
(30% reduction)

168
(down 42%)

191
(down 35%)

175
(40% reduction)

 Serious casualties 

2,605

1,484
(43% reduction)

1,596
(down 39%)

1,697
(down 35%)

1,172
(55% reduction)

 Child fatalities 

15

10
(35% reduction)

71
(down 57%)

82
(down 48%)

8
(50% reduction)

 Serious child casualties 

325

163
(50% reduction)

139
(down 57%)

167
(down 49%)

114
(65% reduction)

To meet these targets, the Framework set out numerous priority areas, each with their own commitments, established via the five road safety Es: engineering, enforcement, education/training, encouragement/leadership and evaluation/research. This ensured the commitments would be both measurable and achievable, with their attainment indicating the extent of Framework delivery.

Governing bodies

A Strategic Partnership Board (SPB) was appointed to make all collective decisions on strategic matters, such as identifying and resolving high level issues. Board members are responsible for monitoring the progress made towards delivery of the identified overarching outcomes, making key decisions on behalf of their respective organisations and ensuring that these are followed through. 

The Board is supported by the Operational Partnership Group (OPG), which monitors and distils information on progress made by the various road safety partners against agreed indicators. Both groups ensure the Framework follows an evidence based, collaborative approach, with Transport Scotland (TS) working alongside local authorities (LAs), emergency services and third sector organisations representing different transport modes. 

Both the SPB and OPG meet twice a year, with the Minutes available on the TS website. 

Mid-term review

The SPB commissioned an evidence-based mid-term review (the Review) of the Framework in 2015/16. The Review, which adopted a participatory approach, assessed the progress made since the Framework was published and identified three key Priority Focus Areas (PFA) – speed, age and vulnerable road users – alongside their corresponding outcomes. It was also vital for road safety delivery partners to determine what progress was being made, and for a baseline of the evidence to be established to measure progress towards the 2020 casualty reduction targets. Therefore, the Review also recommended which indicators were to be adopted to track the achievement of the outcomes. These were designed to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (see page 7). 

Useful Links:

https://www.transport.gov.scot/transport-network/roads/road-safety/
https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/1416/ts-road-safety-framework-mid-term-review-march-2016.pdf

Outcomes

Indicators

Speed

Speed

Increase the proportion of vehicles travelling at appropriate speeds on Scotland’s roads to support reducing road casualty numbers.

Number of injury accidents where at least one of the two “speed” contributory factors are recorded.

Positive behavioural or attitudinal trends in drivers including driving at appropriate speeds and awareness and understanding of speed limits and what they mean.

Motorcyclists

Improve the safety of motorcycling by reducing levels of motor cycle injury accidents on the road network to support reducing road casualty numbers.

Number of motorcyclists involved in injury accidents, including those where vehicles hit objects off the carriageway. 

Age

Pre-drivers

Improve knowledge, positive attitudes and safer behaviours of individuals in relation to road safety before they start driving.

Number of secondary school or college pupils receiving interactive pre-driver educational intervention.

Number of people completing the Scottish Qualifications Authority safe road user award or other accredited assessment or training.

Drivers aged 17-25

Increase safer driving behaviours by young drivers after they pass their test.

Proportion of drivers aged 17-25 involved in injury accidents.

Number of risk behaviours undertaken by drivers aged 17-25 whilst driving in the preceding 12 months.

Older drivers

Increase awareness and knowledge capability of older drivers and their families to make informed choices about safe driving.

Proportion and number of drivers aged 65 and older involved in injury accidents.

Number of risk behaviours undertaken by drivers aged 65 and older whilst driving in the preceding 12 months. 

Vulnerable road users

Cyclists

Reduce the number of cyclist casualties through good design, appropriate speed management, high awareness of and compliance with road traffic laws and safe practices by all road users.

Number of cyclists involved in injury accidents across both the built-up and non-built-up road network.

Number of cyclists and all other road users displaying positive attitudes towards each other.

Number of risk and distraction behaviours undertaken by drivers whilst driving in the preceding 12 months.

Pedestrians

Reduce the number of pedestrian casualties through good design, appropriate speed management, high awareness of and compliance with road traffic laws and safe practices by all road users.

Number of pedestrians involved in injury accidents across both the built-up and non-built-up road network.

Number of risk and distraction behaviours undertaken by drivers whilst driving in the preceding 12 months. 

Snapshot of SPB and OPG activities

Literature reviews

In 2017, the OPG conducted two literature reviews. The first on the impact of road safety on disadvantaged communities and Minority Ethnic Groups, and another on road accidents involving pedestrians under the influence of alcohol. 

The review determined that numerous studies demonstrate how individuals in less affluent communities are at a higher risk compared to those in more affluent areas. Minority Ethnic Groups have been less well studied. However, early indications show links to the research carried out on less affluent communities implying that, they too, are at a higher risk. Lack of evidence suggests that wider external factors should also be considered, particularly with poor infrastructure in deprived areas being identified as an influencing factor. 

The second review outlined that, although casualties involving pedestrians and pedestrians with alcohol are relatively low, this has remained a consistent problem. It was determined that there is a distinct lack of social scientific studies relating to alcohol and pedestrians in Scotland, and interventions should form part of wider road safety programme. This could include reducing vehicle speeds, addressing environmental issues and raising awareness in areas where pedestrians are often influenced by alcohol. The OPG recommended that existing community planning arrangements should be explored to potentially help inform new methods of working with LAs on this issue. It was stressed that alcohol is a “big picture” issue which requires work from many different areas. The OPG acknowledged forthcoming changes in Community Planning via the Community Empowerment Act and the introduction of Local Outcome Improvement Plans, and the need to explore options in maximising the Act’s potential impact towards road safety outcomes.

These reviews will serve as a foundation for further in-depth research in 2018, and influence the writing of the next Road Safety Framework.

Intelligent Speed Assistance

The SPB and OPG are forward thinking bodies and throughout 2017 they investigated numerous alternative road safety avenues, including new technologies such as Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA). Previously known as Intelligent Speed Adaptation, ISA is a vehicle safety system which uses video camera and speed sign recognition technology – usually combined with speed limit data from a digital map and GPS – to automatically limit a vehicle’s speed to ensure is does not exceed a safe or legally enforced speed. Currently, the digital speed map lacks the accuracy to provide mandatory ISA; however, voluntary ISA has shown some positive results, particularly from European studies. The SPB considered whether voluntary ISA could be fast-tracked in Scotland; for example, by raising its profile to generate demand, and encouraging car owner installation as a matter of course. Alongside monitoring work being carried out in the EU, the following aspects of ISA will be further investigated in 2018:

  • Benefits;
  • Challenges;
  • Legislative barriers;
  • Availability; and
  • Involvement from, for example, manufacturers, insurance companies and governments.

Review and assessment of pre-driver interventions in Scotland

In 2016, the SPB commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to conduct a study to establish the number of individuals taking part in pre-driver education courses, and determine the extent of their effectiveness. The study was also intended to inform future direction, investment and delivery of pre-driver interventions across Scotland. TRL carried out the following activities as part of its study:

  • Updated the literature reviews previously compiled by TRL.
  • Contacted all LAs to establish what pre-driver interventions were being carried out and provide an estimate of how many individuals were taking part.
  • Set up an expert workshop to examine 12 interventions and associated materials. 
  • Explored pre-driver off-road driving;
    for example, The Ripple Effect and Good Egg Young Driver.

Completed in 2017, TRL’s Review and assessment of pre-driver interventions in Scotland has been scrutinised by a sub-committee of the SPB and published in 2018.

One key problem identified was the lack of robust evidence demonstrating that pre-driver interventions are being effective at improving road safety. The reasons for a lack of evidence are numerous. They can largely be summarised as being due to too few evaluations having been conducted – for example, lack of funding and assumption of effectiveness – or inadequate quality – for example, poor design and poor evaluation methods.

The report also highlights another key reason for a lack of evidence for effectiveness, and possibly for a lack of evaluation in the first place: an unreasonable expectation that pre-driver interventions can improve road safety in isolation. Furthermore, the typical length of time a participant is engaged with a pre-driver intervention is not sufficient for any meaningful effect to be realised.

Around two-thirds of Scotland’s LA areas were found to run or support some form of pre-driver intervention, with twelve different intervention programmes running across Scotland. None have been demonstrated to be effective at improving safety. It was estimated that approximately 20,000 young people receive some form of pre-driver intervention in Scotland each year, although this is likely to be an underestimate.

Overall key findings indicate that there is currently insufficient evidence to demonstrate effectiveness and no singular approach found to be significantly more or less likely to be effective than the others. The report made ten recommendations (six short term and four long term) ranging from better evaluation, greater targeting of risk factors and implementing behaviour change techniques to the development of a single consistent pre-driver intervention.

Useful Links:

https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/41989/pre-driver-review-and-assessment-trl-final-report.pdf

Recommendations

Long term

1. Use pre-driver interventions to support
a road safety framework

2. Develop a consistent pre-driver intervention

3. Set realistic expectations

4. Put road safety into context

Short term

5. Improve evaluation approaches
for existing interventions

6. Encourage adoption of behaviour change techniques

7. Encourage targeting of appropriate
risk factors

8. Re-design of theatre/demonstration based on interventions

9. Consider theatre/demonstration
“plus” guidance

10. Investigate the impact of off-road
pre-driver training

Speed awareness courses

The Framework’s commitment RSF72 involves considering “if the introduction of a Speed Awareness Scheme focused on speeding would be an appropriate contribution to road safety in Scotland”. In Scotland, the decision on whether or not to prosecute an alleged offender is the prerogative of the Lord Advocate, head of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. The Lord Advocate has indicated that he would not make a decision on whether to permit speed awareness courses (SAC) in Scotland until the outcome of a three-year evaluative study into SAC commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) is known. This report is expected in 2018. With the permission of the Lord Advocate, Police Scotland (PS) is presently carrying out preparatory work to identify practical implementation steps required for the introduction of the courses and are providing the SPB with regular updates. 

Strategic delivery plan

The Strategic Delivery Plan (SDP), outlined on page 13, was designed to align all road safety activity to the casualty reduction targets and Vision Zero. With the Safe System as its overarching assumption, the SDP has aligned the PFA outcomes and indicators with the Scottish Government’s (SG) National Outcomes in order to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured across Scotland.

In utilising the SDP, delivery partners align their own respective strategic plans to high level Framework Activity by identifying which PFA, and which overarching road safety outcome(s), they will deliver. Activity is developed and delivered using strategic linkages, and gauged through the agreed outcome indicators. By measuring the progress towards the 2020 casualty reduction targets, it can be established if the National Outcomes are being realised. 

Tracking the outcomes and indicators

Both the SPB and OPG maintain an Outcomes Indicator Toolkit (OIT) and a Risk Register (RR). The former was designed for tracking progress on overarching outcomes – and the priority commitments which support them – against the indicators. The RR complements the OIT and monitors and manages Framework progression against current or potential risks to the Strategic Delivery Plan. Information garnered from the OIT and RR assists the Groups in deciding where to focus attention, where funding should be spent, and which areas require further research. 

Strategic Delivery Plan

Overarching Assumption: The Safe System
The Safe System approach recognises that humans as road users are fallible and will make mistakes. There are also 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. A key part of the Safe System approach requires that the road system be designed to take account of these errors and vulnerabilities so that road users are able to avoid serious injury or death on the road and that interim road safety targets are set to move systematically towards vision zero.

Progress towards Vision Zero Vision
Zero

Inputs

High Level Activity Priority Focus Areas

Road Safety Targets to 2020 

  • 40% reduction in people killed 
  • 55% reduction in people seriously injured
  • 50% reduction in the number of children killed
  • 65% reduction in the number of seriously injured 

Scottish Government 
TRBO, SCP, Road Safety Policy, Transport Analytical Services, Community Safety Unit

 

Priority Framework Commitments

Scottish Safety Camera Programme

A9 Safety Programme

Grant Funding

Evaluation

Guidance

Overarching Outcomes

Speed
Increase the proportion of vehicles travelling at appropriate speeds on Scotland’s roads to support reducing road casualty numbers.

Pre-drivers
Improve knowledge, positive attitudes and safer behaviours of individuals in relation to road safety before they start driving.

Cyclists
Reduce the number of cyclist casualties through good design, appropriate speed management, high awareness and compliance with, road traffic laws and safe practices by all road users.

Local Government
CoSLA, SCOTS, SOLACE, SCSN

Emergency Services
PS, SFRS, NHSScotland, SAS

Drivers aged 17 to 25
Increase safer driving behaviours by young drivers after they pass their test.

Motorcyclists

Improve the safety of motorcycling by reducing levels of motorcycle injury accidents on the road network to support reducing road casualty numbers.

Older drivers

Increase awareness and knowledge capability of older drivers, and their families, to make informed choices about safe driving.

Pedestrians

Reduce the number of pedestrian casualties through good design, appropriate speed management, high awareness and compliance with, road traffic laws and safe practices by all road users.

National Outcomes

We live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger

We live longer healthier lives

We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society

We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people

We reduce the local and global environmental impact of our consumption and production

We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations

Road Safety Groups
MAG, RHA, Living Streets

Indicators
STATS19, RITS, Local Authority, Service Providers & Schools information

Delivery Bodies
RSS, Cycling Scotland, RoSPA Scotland

Strategic Linkages
National Transport Strategy, Strategic Road Safety Plan, Building Safer Communities Programme Phase II, SG’s Climate Change Report on Policies and Proposals (RPP), PS Road Safety and Crime Strategy, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Strategic Plan for 2013-2016, The Town Centre Vision, Community Planning Partnerships, Local Authority Single Outcome Agreements, Scotland’s Economic Strategy 2015, NHSScotland Healthcare Quality Strategy 2015, Cycling Action Plan, Scottish Government Active Travel Strategy, The Walking Strategy, Cycling by Design 2010. 

Risks
Local road safety resources, UK Government Spending review and delivery of public services, Change of Scottish Government Administration, PS and Scottish Fire and rescue Service capacity and priorities, Governance of Road Safety Framework Strategic Partnership Board.