CAN guide to making a Safer Journeys submission - due 2 Oct 2009

The Safer Journeys submissions are due: 5pm Friday 2 October.

One newbie (who has read a few strategies) said the Safer Journeys Document was one of the easiest she had read. It is fairly readable.

Sometimes it is possible to submit late, but in this case, the MoT website says they'll close the site at 5 pm on Friday, so if you're thinking of making a submission, better not rely on working on it over the weekend! 

Three ways to make your voice heard

1. Rate your top 10-20 initiatives using an on line form [easy]

  • When prioritising think winnable and greatest gain for greatest number, e.g. urban initiatives are perhaps more important as the greatest number of walking and cycling occurs in urban areas.

  • The online form allows 20 choices (MoT proposes 62 possible initiatives). The voting system also allows one new initiative that you can propose.

  • We think a few key walking and cycling initiatives are missing (see asterisked below)

  • It's hard to decide the priority order within your 20 choices so perhaps choose your top 10 and approximate what order you think is most significant, then add your next 10 most important. Alternatively try rating the 62 initiatives as High, Medium, & Low.  Then start with your High, add Medium until you max out your limit.  P.S. Don't forget the initiatives CAN thinks should be considered and were not included in the 59 MOT listed initatives (see those with an asterix below).

  • MoT is clear there is not enough funding for implementing all 62 initiatives so is considering (based on public feedback) which to prioritise.

Below is our suggested list of highest priority initiatives for walking and cycling.

Of the Safer Journeys Discussion Document Initiatives (plus a few we think MOT missed) the top 20 high priority in approximate order of priority for pedestrians/cyclists are...

  1. Change the legal onus of blame for road crashes to the motorist rather than pedestrians or cyclists.* see  UK plans to blame drivers for all cycling/vehicle crashes 

  2. Reduce the legal adult blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 50 mg per 100 ml (BAC 0.05).

  3. Introduce a zero blood alcohol limit for certain drivers (drivers under 20 years old, adults without a full licence, commercial drivers).

  4. Raise the driving age to 17 and extend the learner licence period to 12 months.

  5. Increase the adoption of lower speed limits in urban areas.

  6. Change the give way rules for turning traffic and pedestrians.

  7. Support a targeted programme for high-risk urban intersections.

  8. Review speed limits on mixed-use arterials.

  9. Create more speed zones (80 km/h, 90 km/h) on high risk rural roads.

  10. Have stronger promotion of road user education, including targeted messages and more national promotions, such as “share the road”.
  11. Add specific walking and cycling questions into driver licence testing so drivers are more aware of pedestrians' and cyclists' safety needs.

  12. Develop and support new approaches to safety on mixed-use arterials.

  13. Strengthen the effectiveness of enforcement by: increasing the number of road safety cameras; changing the penalty system to deter speeding (higher demerit points and lower fines).

  14. Implement treatments to make high risk roads more self-explaining.

  15. Improve techniques to integrate safety into land use planning.

  16. Carry out crash reduction studies and make these more targeted.

  17. Implement targeted programmes to address run-off road, head-on and overtaking crashes on high volume, high-risk rural roads.

  18. Increase cyclists skills training in schools (Safer Journeys Discussion Document),  [and for adults]*

  19. Introduce compulsory 3rd party insurance. 

  20. Change the tolerance for motor vehicle speed limit enforcement from 10 km/h to a maximum of ten per cent of the posted speed limit.*

*Adults are not included as part of this initiative in the Safer Journeys Discussion Document 

2. Comment on the MoT's on-line Discussion Forum [easy]

NB: Your opinion may influence others considering making a written submission. However, the Ministry of Transport is clear that comments on the Discussion Forum will not be considered in the decision making process for shaping the final Road Safety Document.

3. Write a submission [medium in terms of time and effort, satisfying!]

It is a matter of choosing your top 10-20 initiatives and backing your choices by looking at the rationale/background info. in the Discussion document, selecting a few key supporting facts to support your choice. Fairly easy as submissions go.

The Discussion Document breaks up the proposed initiatives into

  • Areas of High Concern (Alcohol, Drugs, Young Drivers, Speed, Roads & Roadsides, & Motorcycling);

  • Areas of Medium Concern (Light Vehicles, Walking and Cycling, Heavy Vehicles, Fatigue, Restraints); and

  • Areas for continued focus and emerging issues (Older Road Users, Raising Awareness and Advertising)

We consider Walking and Cycling needs to be moved to the Areas of High Concern. 
Many of the initiatives (except in the Motorcycling section) currently listed under the "Areas of High Concern" are important for improving safety for Walking and Cycling.