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Analysing the New Strategic Framework

11th May saw the launch of the new Strategic Framework for Road Safety, the Coalition Government’s answer to a road safety strategy. It is distinct, because it focuses more on articulating aspirations rather than establishing hard targets; aspirations which may or may not receive a huge amount of political support in a time of constrained finances and competing statutory priorities.

That said there are some positives in here. The measures that are given for the Key Outcome Indicators (which are very distinct from targets) will be far more appealing to many professionals who have long petitioned for something a little more subtle than the headline figures of RCR 2010.

The recognition that segregating some national indicators from measures that are realistic for local delivery bodies to affect is a significant step.  Secondly, and probably far more importantly, the increased focus on rate based analysis is crucial if there is to be a sensible comparison of performance between areas.  This is a crucial step if there is to be an emergence of local accountability which the Department for Transport says it is so determined to see materialise.

More subtle measures are also included in the table of indicators, even down to perceptions of safety.  These sorts of questions have often been a part of the analysis of crime and security, though they take on an increased significance for road safety if it is to align more closely with other policy areas such as public health.

The wide range of new measures is going to demand new rigor for those undertaking the analysis.  Fortunately, for those using MAST Online, these measures and more will be available for bespoke analysis soon.  RSA are already working on turning these Key Outcome Indicators into readily accessible analysis tools for MAST users and looking at ways in which we can play a part in the industry’s response to the government’s proposals.

It was refreshing to see the clarity of focus that the Strategic Framework afforded to quality of data and the vital importance of evidence; those who share our passion in this area will be heartened by that at least.

One thing that has so far been omitted from the Key Outcome Indicators is any assessment of resident risk.  Given the focus on local decision making & accountability, along with several references to the effect of deprivation issues on an area’s risk profile, it behoves the Government to consider resident risk among the measure of performance that it promotes.

As new tools go into development and the industry coordinates its response to the Strategic Framework, we will aim to keep you updated and ensure that MAST users continue to have the tools right tools for the job.

This blog was written by Dan Campsall, one of the directors of Road Safety Analysis who took part in the consultation exercise prior to the publication of the strategic framework.  You can download a full copy of the Strategic Framework by going to:

[http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/strategicframework/pdf/strategicframework.pdf

 

 

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