Public invited to contribute to Police road death policy

Published on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 12:14
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Association of Chief Police Officers is calling on the public to help shape police policy involving road death investigations

A consultation will focus on police standards when responding, reporting and investigating, road traffic collisions and will influence an agreed policy and guidance published by ACPO.

ACPO's last review of its Road Death Investigation Manual (RDIM) was carried out in 2007.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, ACPO lead for the investigation of fatal and life changing road collisions across England and Wales, said:

"The police service is committed to preventing and reducing the loss of life or serious injury on our roads.

"Long-term trends indicate that together with other agencies we are achieving that ambition. However, in 2011 in England and Wales on average five people still lost their lives on our roads every day, 63 people sustained serious injuries and hundreds of others suffered other injuries."

Reported road deaths have reduced from about 5,500 a year in the mid 1980s to fewer than 2,000 last year (2011).

Over the same period, reported road casualties have decreased from 240,000 to just over 200,000.

ACC Sean White encouraged the public to comment on how they would like to see police respond, investigate and report on road traffic collisions, including bereaved family and friends who have had firsthand experience of police involvement.

He added: "Families quite rightly expect their police service to prevent and reduce these collisions from occurring and in the unexpected event that it impacts upon them they are entitled to the best service and support to aid them through such difficult time.

"We are committed to listening to their experiences and views as well as those of partner agencies, and to updating and amending our policy and practices to keep pace with and, where possible, exceed expectations."

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, the road safety charity, commented: "We welcome this review of the Road Death Investigation Manual, and look forward to continuing to work with police to prevent crashes and support families whose lives are turned upside down by these tragic events. As a charity providing national support services to people affected by a road death or serious injury, we bear witness to the terrible devastation these collisions cause. It is critical these families get the help they need, and that we learn from collisions to prevent further tragedies; police work liaising with victims and investigating crashes is fundamental to this. We are proud to work with every force in the country to support road crash victims, and pleased to have this opportunity to develop that work further."

Source: ©ACPO

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+1 #4 MrRoy Bradshaw 2012-08-13 16:11
Your foreword says "The police service is committed to preventing and reducing the loss of life or serious injury on our roads". This is unlikely to be successful until the Police and the Law aim for a zero tolerance policy concerning Law Breaking. Most law breakers know they are unlikely to be caught e.g. speeding, and even then will not be greatly inconvenienced unless they are caught several times which is highly unlikely. Deal with the minor infringements first and the major ones will diminish accordingly.
+1 #3 Speed Kills- Slow us downPeter Merriman 2012-08-09 17:25
We urgently need our Police Forces to help change the culture of speed in this Country. You are the standard bearers, if you could say that you would support standard speed limits of 20mph in Residential Areas and 40mph on Country roads, it would send a message to all Local Authorities, they would respect that as a standard to aim at. They say that you are not interested at the moment, as you don't have the manpower to Police it, so do little or nothing, but many people would be less damaged and live longer if you set a national standard for road safety.
All cyclists and walkers and older and less able people who try to move around our (your) communities without motor vehicles would value you setting an example for all to respect. In time, and I accept we are talking years, all would start to accept that we all need to respect each others needs more and travel more slowly and safely. You have our respect and we need you to lead in keeping us, you and all your families safer.
Thank you for listening and asking us to make suggestions
+3 #2 MrDave Holladay 2012-08-08 15:35
The HSE manage hazards by a reporting policy that embraces all dangerous occurrences (RIDDOR) and seriously lacking is a means to collate reports of minor crashes, and even near-miss incidents, as these generally point to a hazard which will on one occasion deliver a fatal outcome.

We need some means to clock up this for both locations and drivers.

In tha past week LGV driver Joao Lopes was sentenced for killing Nora Gutmann barely 4 years after he killed Eilidh Cairns in near identical circumstances, through driving with defective eyesight. Between thes 2 fatal crashes he was involved in 4 other recorded incidents which highlighted his being unfit to drive an LGV.

The lack of a relaible feed of such information is highlighted by the Traffic Commissioners who oversee vocational licence holders BUT appear to only learn of traffic offences committed by voctaional drivers through informal Police feeds.
+8 #1 MrWill Bramhill 2012-08-08 13:52
Interesting, but we should be basing policy on "road fear" as well as collision statistics. Road safety "success" cannot be gauged simply from the number of deaths and injuries. I suspect our figures are so low because people are scared to walk, scared to cycle and so drive (or are driven) instead. This applies especially to children, both on the school run and outside school, and the elderly. Not only is this damaging physical health but it also affects psychological health and independence, too. We need proportional liability in collisions as a way to start changing UK road culture. Motor vehicles can do - and do - far more damage than cyclists and pedestrians. The onus in civil law should be on drivers to show that the cyclist/pedestr ian was being reckless.

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