Why no hierarchy of controls on our roads?

Hierachy of controls

When you next hear someone referring to the wearing helmets and high-vis or the delivery of enhanced driver training as guiding principles of road safety, refer them to the hierarchy of hazard control. The system is used across industry to minimise or eliminate exposure to hazards and it has as much relevance to road danger reduction as it does to reducing injuries on a car assembly plant.

Control methods at the top of graphic are more effective and protective than those at the bottom. It’s a commonsense approach that rates physical separation above the wearing of polystyrene hats as a means of protecting people riding bicycles from HGVs. As a wise person once said, “If the answer is a cycle helmet, you’re asking the wrong question.” And yet we have yet to implement a systematic approach to the reduction of road danger. While it’s true that road deaths have fallen over recent decades, the figures mask the fact that fewer of us now walk and speeding traffic ensures it’s no longer considered safe to allow children to play on the streets.

In some respects attitudes in Britain appear to be going backwards.

A quarter of a century after Robert Davis appeared on Top Gear to highlight how road danger was affecting pedestrians, the street concerned has changed very little. Likewise, we remain a largely car-centric nation with illegal levels of dangerous air pollution in our urban centres.

However, one thing has most certainly different. Can you imagine Top Gear featuring such content now?

Ethical  insurance

Not only are we Britain’s most ethical insurance company, we campaign for sustainable transport. Sometimes that means protesting until a school gets the zebra crossing they’ve been refused or running 60 roadshows this year to encourage people out of their cars, or fixing bicycles for free. We also launched Green Transport Week and helped establish Car Free Day and Twenty’s Plenty to name just a few. We’ve been campaigning for sustainable transport in this way for over 27 years with the help of people like you. Supporting this work is easy – you simply have to take out insurance with us. Home insurance, cycle insurance, travel insurance and breakdown cover and we take care of the rest. We provide an excellent level of cover while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

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