We have always thought it bizarre that a soldier killed in Afghanistan gets front-page news and often the lead story on national television – but the same soldier killed on a motorway accident driving back to his barracks whilst on leave in the UK, wouldn’t make a single national newspaper. Not one.
The question that must be asked is why is the road transport industry treated so differently from the rail industry and indeed the aviation industry? Why do we accept deaths on the road when we won’t accept it on any other form of transport?
The waste of lives and money in this country is a national disgrace. At a time when the emphasis is on reducing costs, why would anyone not want the double benefit of saving money AND saving lives.
In our last Newsletter we asked if anyone actually knew the real cost to the economy of a motorway crash in Britain.
Well, the Road Safety Foundation claims that Britain loses £30 billion every year as a direct results of car accidents, mainly on motorways and main roads. The Foundation has put forward a 10-year safety programme which it claims could save the UK between £25-£35 billion.
It is also believes that whilst the total cost of crashes was well documented by the DfT (Department for Transport) there was a significant lack of understanding of the way the costs fell on business, families and the insurance industry. The total cost of fatal and serious crashes on the Highways Agency’s Motorway and major A-road network is currently estimated at £1.2 billion a year. The cost of serious accidents on local authority A-roads is £2 billion.
More effective spending of even a tiny amount of the huge sums spent on road maintenance could save up to 6,000 lives over the next decade. So says the Road Safety Foundation in a startling report for the RAC released this week.
RAC Foundation Director Professor Stephen Glaister said “Given that Britons are more likely to die on the roads than in any other daily activity, this report should make us first angry, and then determined to act to see more lives saved – at little or no extra cost”.
We couldn’t agree more.