Title: Roads policing and its contribution to road safety

Organisation: Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety
Date uploaded: 16th June 2020
Date published/launched: June 2020

This report links the failure to reduce road deaths over the past decade to the decline in the number of roads policing officers.

The report criticises successive years of cutbacks in roads policing – despite ‘clear evidence’ over its effectiveness and public desire to see more police on the roads.

PACTS calls on the Government to be ‘guided by the science’ and to make roads policing a national priority by expanding the number of specialist officers.

Published ahead of a cross-Whitehall review of roads policing, the report points out that police numbers were cut by 22% in 2010-14 and a further 18% in 2015-19.

Meanwhile, during this time road casualty figures have flatlined.

The report highlights international research confirming the effectiveness of roads policing in increasing compliance with traffic laws and reducing road casualties – cutting some collision types by around a quarter.

A detailed analysis by PACTS of the ‘fatal four’ offences since 2010 shows that where enforcement has been increased, compliance has improved and casualties have dropped – but where cutbacks have affected enforcement, there has been little or no improvement.

The report also highlights the importance of roads policing in combatting wider criminality.

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