Call for road collision investigation body

Efforts to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the UK’s roads should be stepped up through formation of a Road Collision Investigation Branch, the Department for Transport has been urged today.

The call was made by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) at its conference ‘Collision investigation: how can we learn more?’ in Westminster today.

“The time has come to set up a UK road collision investigation body. We have dedicated Accident Investigation Branches of the DfT for air, rail and maritime but not for road accidents,” said PACTS’ director David Davies.

He added: “The UK carries out some excellent collision investigation but it is fragmented and inconsistent. We need to learn from air and rail and bring together the efforts of researchers, police, coroners, local authorities and others more effectively.”

PACTS said it will seek an amendment to the Government’s Vehicle Technology & Aviation Bill to pave the way for the body, which it proposes would not investigate every collision but focus on the most serious.

“It would be about learning and would support, not replace, the crucial work of police collision investigators who are looking to see if there are grounds for prosecution,” added David Davies. 

“The number of deaths on British roads was 1730 in 2015. This far exceeds those in rail, air and maritime combined. And since 2010 they have reduced very little. We need tolearn more about how to prevent them.”