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A consultation was launched on proposals to set up a Road Collision Investigation Branch (RCIB). This would operate much like the similar independent bodies that already exist for air, maritime and rail accidents.
An RCIB would carry out thematic investigations and probe specific incidents of concern to establish the causes of collisions.
It would also make independent safety recommendations to help further improve road safety across the country.
The investigation branch would help to identify the underlying causes of road traffic collisions, allowing the DfT and Government to prevent them.
The consultation is being launched now due to the huge developments which are taking place across the transport sector, such as the roll out of increasingly automated and electric vehicles.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere spoke of the benefits the consultation could provide to aid road safety.
She said: “The UK’s roads are among the safest in the world but we’re always looking at ways to make them even safer.
“A new investigation branch would play a huge role in this work by identifying the underlying causes of road traffic collisions so we can take action to prevent them from happening again.
“It would also provide us with vital insight as we continue to modernise our road network to ensure better, greener and safer journeys.”
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Similarly, Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, reiterated the sentiment, saying the consultation was important.
He commented: “After excellent progress across many years, sustained road safety improvement has been hard to achieve over the past decade, both in the UK and further afield.
“We should be challenging ourselves on whether we are understanding all we can about the causes of road collisions and what could be done to prevent them.
“Our research to date suggests that more could be learnt – which is why today’s consultation is so important and so welcome.”
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