The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has questioned the Government’s approach to road safety in the wake of figures for last year that showed the first rise in road casualties since 1994.

BVRLA chairman John Lewis questioned the current policy of not having specific reduction numbers to aim for.

“When the Government had road safety targets then everyone worked to them, we were all driving to the common goal,” he told BusinessCar. “Now we’ve all got the same mission but we’ve become more isolated.”

Lewis predicted that figures for the first quarter of 2012 – which showed a 1% rise in people killed or seriously injured compared with the same period last year – would be crucial as they would indicate whether the rise in numbers is a continuing trend.

The BVRLA boss called for more enforcement and more re-training rather than going straight to fines and points: “There are now fewer convictions for offences, and if you drill into the figures, the number of people exceeding 70mph is down, but the number exceeding 30mph is up, and we’re killing more pedestrians and cyclists.

“Things are heading in the wrong direction. If you’re killing people then you have bad policies.”

He also raised the subject of at-work road accidents being covered by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.

At present, work travel is exempt, as because traffic accident investigation and prosecution is a police domain.

“We had initial discussions with the CBI. We were pushing for Riddor with work-related road safety and the CBI pushed back because of the admin,” said Lewis.

“A couple of non-executive directors said to us, ‘if you damage anyone in a fixed workplace you get a report, but what about the mobile workplace?’ If it creates too much admin then you’re having too many accidents.

“The Government view was that it relies on the police for enforcement, but our view is that it’s about prevention.”

The Government currently has an active consultation into Riddor, but the document specifically excludes any conversation about road accidents as it is not seeking “any fundamental changes to HSE policy or objectives”.

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