Norfolk residents could benefit from a new approach to road safety if councillors give the go-ahead next week.
Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee explains: “The current approach has not produced the results we need here in Norfolk so we are keen to try something new. ‘Safe Systems’ is recognised globally as being the forefront of road safety.”
The proposed ‘Safe Systems’ approach acknowledges that people will make mistakes. It aims to improve the safety of all four parts of the system – road use, vehicles, speeds and finding wider ways to make roads safe, continuing to support the police in their enforcement role. The approach also emphasises the importance of partnership working as well as individual responsibility as all parts of the system relate to each other in some way.
On average, approximately 402 people every year, or approximately 34 each month, are seriously injured or killed in collisions on Norfolk’s roads.
Councillors will decide whether to adopt the new Safe Systems approach at Communities Committee on Wednesday 7 November 2018.
Safe Systems in action – case study
The A1151 was studied in 2014 as party of a County wide study undertaken on of our rural A-Class network. These studies were an early attempt by Norfolk County Council to introduce Safe Systems methodology. At this time, A1151 was one of the worst performing A class roads in Norfolk in terms of killed and serious road casualties and was identified as a priority for treatment. Over the period July 2008 to June 2013 Norfolk Constabulary recorded 59 personal injury accidents, (of which 20 were killed or serious injury) over the 15km length of road.
Various small-scale interventions were identified and delivered, together with identification of major improvements which could be developed further, should funding become available.
These interventions comprised:
- Provision of a safety camera at a series of bends which are of contextually poor horizontal alignment, but with little scope for improvement due to the proximity of frontage housing (funded by the Safety Camera Partnership)
- Provision of a nearside passing bay at a junction which had a high incidence of tail end collisions with right turning traffic
- Increasing the size of a speed limit terminal on approach to an S bend which passes over a rail track, together with installation of a speed triggered bend warning and slow down VAS on approach to complement existing signing
- Standardisation of traffic warning signs and road markings.
These remaining measures were introduced in 2015 following the report’s completion at a cost of £62,000, funded by Norfolk County Council. Since scheme completion the accident record is much improved with six accidents (of which one was serious and no fatalities) over the last three years.
Today it is being announced as one of the most improved roads in the UK at the EuroRaps Conference at the House of Lords.