A first-of-its-kind joint review into roads policing and traffic enforcement will be launched later this year, in a bid to improve road safety.
The 2 year review, jointly funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England, will look at how roads policing currently works, its effectiveness, and where improvements could be made or gaps bridged.
The DfT will be looking at this with the Home Office and the National Police Chiefs’ Council. A pilot programme based on the review and consultation feedback could begin next year, and could test out new initiatives or ways of working to see what works best in reducing road casualties.
Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis yesterday said:
We have strong laws in place to ensure people are kept safe on our roads at all times.
But roads policing is a key deterrent in stopping drivers breaking the law and risking their and other people’s lives.
This review will not only highlight where police forces are doing good work, it will show what more can be done to improve road safety.
The review will also look at how the police and different agencies work together, the information they share and how improvements may increase capability and capacity.
It will also consider how best to police roads in rural and urban areas, and the strategic road network.
In order to find out what currently works well, a call for evidence will be launched this autumn. Findings and recommendations will be ready in 2020.
The review will not increase the burden on existing police forces. In fact, to help free up police time, the department has rolled out a new version of the Collision Reporting and Sharing software and provided a smartphone app to work on existing police mobile devices as well as funding to buy tablet computers.
This app enables officers to accurately report crash data and locations on site, rather than having to return to a police station to duplicate paperwork on a computer.
The DfT has also invested in the development of roadside breathalysers, which once finished, will enable suspected drink drivers to be tested at the roadside, without having to go back to the police station for a test, and the reading can then be used in court.