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Vehicle safety under the spotlight as government looks to form crash investigation team

Vehicle safety under the spotlight as government looks to form crash investigation team

Vehicle safety is set for scrutiny as the government launches a consultation period on the creation of a road crash investigation team.

The independent body is set to be called the Road Collision Investigation Branch (RCIB) and will investigate crashes and incidents involving all vehicles, including self-driving vehicles.

How would the RCIB operate?

Similar to other independent bodies that investigate and report on incidents and safety in the rail, air, and maritime sectors.

Concerns have been expressed that the current process in place for the investigation of road traffic incidents isn’t sufficient, with the government sensing the need for independent safety recommendations.

While the UK’s roads are some of the safest in the world, Roads Minister Baroness Vere stated that they are “always looking at ways to make them even safer.”

An investigation branch would specifically look into what caused an incident, and what action would need to be taken to avoid a similar incident occurring again.

The investigations would lead to reports and key insights to help ensure safer journeys and modernise the UK’s roads network.

Why is the RCIB being set up now?

The government is under pressure to deliver better, greener, and safer travel across the UK’s transport infrastructure thanks to their net-zero target and the COP26 conference which is being held in Glasgow.

There’s also increased pressure for the government to deliver when it comes to the electric vehicle switchover, which requires an equally safe and modern driving network to ensure the government is meeting its targets.

Experts have admitted that sustained road safety improvement has been difficult to implement, particularly with other projects and the rollout of smart motorways being a significant area of focus.

But that’s why the government has recognised the importance of investigating and reporting on the cause of road collisions - to see what can be done to prevent them in the future.

And research conducted also suggests that there is a lot more that we can learn about road traffic collisions and how we could prevent incidents from happening again.

Information about the cause of a road traffic incident is recorded by the police at the time of the collision currently…

But this only provides basic details and insights which don’t leave the requisite information to investigate further and determine the most effective measures to take in order to tackle incidents that are a serious safety concern.

Many industry leaders have been calling for an independent body to be set up to investigate road traffic collisions for a long time, and the launch of the consultation represents a major step towards achieving that goal.

What do you make of the potential creation of an independent body for the investigation of road traffic incidents? How much of a concern is it for you and your drivers? And do you think enough is being done to increase road safety in the UK? Let us know at info@drivingmonitor.com.