It was certainly a comfort to see the level of analytical capability that is being directed towards understanding the challenges that we face. That said, there are some insights that are hinted at in the data, but which need to be properly understood. The correlation between investment in traffic policing and casualty numbers is little understood, the reality of the safety in numbers argument for cyclists or motorcyclists raises questions, the data quality gap that exists between hospital data and police records is revealing; how can we raise the data quality that will serve delivery for the next 20 years?
EuroRAP and its sister projects have worked on exceedingly thorough algorithms for cross-comparison of strategic roads, but do the resulting metrics really show us how infrastructure investment delivers casualty reduction? Is the methodology sensitive enough for certain sorts of roads (especially those in more rural communities) and is the data more likely to demonstrate efficacy of enforcement than a rate of return on capital projects? That said, the assertion that smart maintenance of strategic roads could reduce road deaths by around 2,000 is certainly something that should not be ignored.
Inevitably, the discussion therefore moves to mechanisms for delivery with the changing technology landscape a key part of the context. The role of social media in engaging with a disparate target audience was discussed with the need for police forces to be courageous in using sometimes contentious messages to reach and connect. Partnership was another theme that came through strongly, with a clear role for multi-sectoral collaboration to deliver the most effective measures. Clearly one area where technology can create impact is on speed management with intelligent speed adaptation identified as having the potential to deliver a 20% reduction in fatalities across Europe. Enforcement has a role to play, but the long view remains that driverless technology is the development most likely to make the big strides towards zero.