Road Safety Framework 2019 - Annual Report


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 (97 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:

Figure 1: Scottish Reported Road Safety Casualties

2020 Target (adjusted* 2004-08 baseline) Progress towards targets in 2019**
175 = 40% reduction in people killed (292) 165 = 43% reduction
2,385 = 55% reduction in people seriously injured (5,296) 2,611 = 51% reduction
8 = 50% reduction in children killed (15) 3 = 83% reduction
239 = 65% reduction in children seriously injured (684) 260 = 62% reduction
23.41 = 10% reduction in slight casualty rate (26.02 casualties per 100 million vehicle kilometres) 9.87 = 62% reduction

This year, Police Scotland has started to use a new accident recording system. The introduction of this new system has changed the way casualty severity is recorded and, as a result, comparisons of the number of serious and slight casualties to earlier years should be made with caution.

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.

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

Snapshot of SPB and OPG activities

The OPG and the SPB have worked on various pieces of work throughout 2019, encouraging a push towards the end of the current framework as well as thinking ahead and working collectively to embrace the new challenges the next framework may bring. 

Established a road safety evaluation fund which went live in June 2019.

Evaluations undertaken for road safety interventions are sparse. The reasons for this are wide ranging but, the most common factor is lack of resources to evaluate interventions to a standard that is deemed appropriate. Unsurprisingly focus is generally on 'doing' rather than 'evaluating', even if this means they cannot be sure if the intervention is having a positive (or negative) effect.

By creating an evaluation fund, open to all road safety projects, it gives us the opportunity to gain invaluable information and evidence on the impact an intervention has had on road safety. This would help us build up a knowledge base of what works well and what doesn't and would enable us to share best practice, striving for a consistent approach throughout Scotland.

Regardless of the outcome measure, robust evaluation is a necessary component of establishing the effectiveness of an intervention and ensuring that it does not in fact do harm.

The groups also produced a literature review on the effects of light glare on driving performance and on road user distraction.

Scrutinised road safety framework funding for 16 initiatives of which 6 were successful.

1. Evaluation - Police Scotland, New Driver Scheme

2. Evaluation - Motorcycle Safety in the North East of Scotland

3. Evaluation - Eddleston A703 Traffic Calming Project

4. Evaluation – Cycling Scotland, Bikeability Scotland Broader Road Safety Perceptions of 10+ Age Range

5. Framework Initiative – RoSPA - Encouraging uptake of further rider training through motorcyclist communications

6. Framework Initiative – ScORSA - Raise Awareness of MORR in SME's

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Road Safety Partner Highlights 

The Road Safety Framework to 2020 brought forward a strong partnership approach to the delivery of many road safety strategies and initiatives. Transport Scotland's Road Safety Policy Team has worked closely alongside partners to push to meet our 2020 targets as we draw closer to the end of the Road Safety Framework to 2020. Working with key stakeholder such as Police Scotland, Cycling Scotland and local authorities to ensure the downward trend of casualties on Scotland's roads. Regular meetings with Police Scotland has allowed us to be aware of any emerging trends in accidents and casualties as well as Police Scotland's approach to enforcement. 

The Road Safety Policy team have also been meeting with local authorities and local road safety partnerships throughout the country as part of 'Team Scotland'. The main aim is to ensure better connections between national and local activity and provide an evidence base for road safety delivery. It is also about delivering a wider understanding of the challenges we all face, and working more closely to devise and implement solutions for those challenges. We need to fully understand the processes in place, ensure different demographics are represented, the impact they have on road safety and the role they play in casualty reduction, highlighting that we can adapt and respond. This is a way of working locally to build an evidence base of what is being delivered and so to be able to share good practice and identify any gaps in interventions. This has been key in delivering on the 2020 targets and developing a world leading Road Safety Framework to 2030. 

Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2030 which has been developed in partnership with the road safety community and our key stakeholders, using the Improvement Approach as an innovative methodology to address our road safety future challenges. Four workshops were attended by a broad range of stakeholders between December and June to cover speed, Vulnerable Road Users, Age and Occupational Road Risk. We are also looking at having ambitious targets to 2030, to strengthen Scotland's position amongst the world-leading countries. The framework looks to fully embed the Safe System. A Safe System involves those who manage and design the roads as well as those who use them; each is responsible for, and must contribute to, eradicating fatal and serious injuries.

To help achieve the reduction in casualties education, engineering and enforcement have been key. Road Safety Scotland have developed a suite of campaigns to improve driver behaviour and reduce risk on Scotland's roads. Two of these campaigns are Breathtaking Roads, aimed at motorcyclists to focus on skills required to remain in control of a motorbike, particularly at bends, junctions and during overtaking, and the Drive Like Grans in the Car, targeting 20-29 year-old males tackling such issues such as speed, distraction, and drink/drug driving. Both of these campaigns were nominated and won the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards. 

Transport Scotland Trunk Road Casualty Reduction Team have introduced new motorcycle PRIME markings that are at the leading edge of good practice for road safety engineering to help enable safer motorcycle use. These schemes are being deployed in trial locations over 2020 and 2021 and monitored to establish their effectiveness in the period thereafter.

To support this Police Scotland have taken evidence led enforcement strategies to influence better driver behaviour. Through Rider Refinement North, a series of one-day courses led by qualified police motorcyclists, with the aim of building awareness and capability in relation to risk factors, handling skills, overtaking and cornering safely, observation, anticipation and planning.

National Conversation

As part of the development of the next framework the SPB and OPG are considering initiatives such as the following;

  • Raise the profile of road safety through celebrity input/online influencers
  • Road safety week with planned events around the country
  • Online knowledge portal to promote road safety messages and best practice
  • Social media highlighting priority areas
  • Competition for kids and parents/carers

The aim of these is to raise the profile of road safety and ensure that we all have clear and concise messaging.

Scotland's Speed Indicator

At its meeting in September 2018 the SPB recommended the OPG consider creating a speed indicator for post 2020 road safety framework and consider what it should look like. 

The board agreed that the work should be scaled up into a national assessment, including data from the local road network. By gathering data from more locations across various speed limits the research would be more robust and capable of scrutiny. This would allow a more detailed analysis to be carried out, including an investigation on why speeding is more prevalent in certain areas.

Scotland's National Speed Indicator would measure and evidence the speeds travelled in Scotland across a variety of roads, initially establishing a baseline for speed and then to monitor going forward, providing information such as:

  • Does Scotland have a speeding problem.
  • Which vehicle types are speeding 
  • Are vehicles travelling at excessive speeds.
  • Does speeding occur on a particular type of road across Scotland or only in a particular geographical area.
  • Is there a particular time of night /day people speed.
  • Measure the amount of vehicles travelling our roads (are there fewer vehicles from the baseline).

To gain a true indication of speed across Scotland the speed surveys would not influence a driver's speed they would be installed in free flowing conditions as stated in the site criteria. If a speeding problem is identified on a surveyed road, we would not modify the road but tackle the wider issue identified .i.e. a speeding campaign focused on particular roads, investigate engineering solutions for similar road types and targeted vehicle initiatives to name only a few. It would be possible to measure the impact of any initiative implemented with the continued monitoring of the specific issue. 

The site selected for survey would continue to act solely as a monitor of speed on our roads and would not be used as a speed reduction measure. Therefore roads which have a known speeding issue and potentially, in the future will have speed reducing measures put in place should not be considered for this purpose. 

This work is ongoing and will continue into the next framework.

Strategic Delivery Plan

The Strategic Delivery Plan (SDP), outlined on page 10, was designed to align all road safety activity to the casualty reduction targets and Vision Zero.

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. 

Strategic Delivery Plan

Strategic Delivery Plan