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Roads: Accidents

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will use the powers under section 180 (1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to provide for the establishment of investigations on the same basis as those conducted by air and rail accident investigation branches in order to determine the underlying causes of road traffic accidents. (287706)

All fatal collisions on our roads are investigated in great detail by police accident investigators. We are working to improve the analysis of their data which will develop our understanding of the causes of these collisions and focus further measures to prevent deaths on the roads. This work is supplemented by detailed analysis of a sample of collisions by road safety researchers.

We see no case to duplicate this effort by establishing a road accident investigation branch. However, we recently proposed the establishment of an independent expert panel to look at the pattern of fatal accidents on our roads and, on the basis of that analysis, recommend ways to reduce further the number of deaths on our roads.