Motor insurer and road safety charity call on the government to invest to make roads safer and save lives
More investment in the safety of Britain’s roads could lead to savings for the nation’s motor insurance policy holders, according to new analysis.
It is estimated that investment in improving Britain’s riskiest roads would save its customers £23.2m in insurance premiums each year thanks to a reduction in serious and fatal crashes. That’s a saving of £12 per customer.
Ageas and the Road Safety Foundation are together calling for an immediate investment of £75 million from the government, and a further £75 million annually for five years thereafter to improve the riskiest roads. It’s estimated that the immediate investment of £75 million on these roads would prevent an estimated 1,100 fatal and serious injuries over the next two decades while the investment of £450m could prevent as many as 5,600 deaths or serious injuries over the same time. The value of prevention would be around £2 billion.
Progress on reducing road deaths has stagnated since 2011, with 1,793 people killed on Britain’s roads in 2017, the highest number since 2011. If Great Britain had been on track to halve road deaths within this decade, in line with international targets, an extra 2,549 people would not have lost their lives between 2010 and 2017.
The Safer Roads Fund was part of an investment package announced in 2016 by the Department of Transport to upgrade 50 of England’s most dangerous local A-road sections. This £100 million is projected to prevent 1,450 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years, with a value of prevention of £550 million. And every £1 spent is projected to have societal benefit of £4.40 by not only addressing the human cost but by limiting hidden post-crash costs that include medical, ambulance, police, lost output, insurance and damage to property. But this fund hasn’t been replenished.
Suzy Charman Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation said: “The reality is that progress to reduce the rate of death and serious injury on our roads has flatlined since 2010. The Safer Roads Fund has allowed the road safety community to demonstrate that investing in road safety engineering treatments really does have life-saving potential, and also stacks up as an investment when compared to other transport initiatives.
“If we’re to achieve the shared international goal of zero road deaths by 2050, we need to tackle road casualty reduction with purpose and determination. Continuation of the Safer Roads Fund would be one critical way of achieving that goal. Road deaths are preventable and we must get back on track.”