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Road safety issues

Staffordshire has one of the safest county council road networks in the country but we welcome and encourage feedback from communities in relation to matters surrounding road safety.

All road safety considerations across the county are supported through the collation of objectively measured data which is used to design appropriate solutions. This data might include traffic speeds, traffic volumes and road traffic collision data involving personal injury - where this has been reported to the police.

Please also see the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership website for further information on community-led initiatives that can help address a variety of Road Safety concerns and visit our Road Safety Education page for detail on the work were are doing with schools.

How do you decide which locations receive funding for road safety improvements?

If someone is injured in a road traffic accident on a public road and it has been reported to or recorded by the police, then we receive the collision data. We constantly monitor personal injury collisions reported on the public highway across Staffordshire to identify accident trends. Any treatable pattern of accidents identified will have proportionate remedial measures put forward for funding and prioritised against other locations around Staffordshire. The key is based on a pattern rather than the severity of collision, although if there is a pattern of severe collisions then this takes greater priority.

The above forms the basis for how all highway authorities in England manage risk on their road networks. We have to prioritise limited public funding towards locations where there is an established pattern of treatable injury collisions to fulfil its statutory duties.

The collision information is provided by police officers who have attended the collision sites or information reported at a police station. The contributory factors assigned to the incidents follow initial investigations by police and are potentially subject to change following further detailed investigations. Contributory factors can include driver errors, vehicle failures, excessive speeds, intoxication, illnesses, dazzling sun, etc. Whilst we are informed of the contributory factors following road traffic collisions involving personal injury, this is detail arrived at by the attending police officers.

Hazard Notifications from the police are received in the event of a serious or fatal road traffic collision as part of the protocol when a highways specific concern was identified that may have been a contributory factor to the collision. If recommendations in relation to highway safety improvements are received from the coroner, these are compiled into a dedicated Regulation 28 Report. Not all KSI incidents result in hazard notifications from the police or recommendations from the coroner.

Engineers at our Accident Investigation Unit conduct annual and quarterly cluster site and route surveys. As the budget for road safety improvements is finite, it is the sites with the greatest proven need which are treated first, and these will have a cluster of incidents with a discernible trend or pattern in the cause of each. For example, a cluster of three incidents over the most recent three years of data where a vehicle failed to Give Way at a junction, may result in improved signage, physical engineering measures such as creating a staggered junction or a combination of measures.

Annual searches with a view of identifying any clusters of personal injury collisions with similar causation factors, are used to determine schemes that are then delivered via the Integrated Transport programme. If a pattern of treatable collisions is identified then remedial measures, proportionate to the accident problem, will be proposed and prioritised against other locations across Staffordshire. Quarterly KSI searches are also undertaken and these provide an opportunity to identify any new cluster sites that do not currently feature in the forward programme, although these searches are generally unlikely to reveal new clusters.

As well as the above, we also have some provision via its Integrated Transport budget to fund mass action schemes, these will be locations that have a cluster of 3-6 incidents within three years involving personal injury, including incidents involving slight personal injury. Mass action schemes generally involve amendments or improvements to signage/road markings.

How do I report speeding?

The Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership investigate speeding issues on behalf of Staffordshire Police. The partnership can also provide you with wheelie bin stickers to persuade drivers to not speed. 

How do I request for a speed limit to be changed?

Speed limits should be evidence-led and self-explaining and seek to reinforce people's assessment of what is a safe speed to travel at which encourages self-compliance. Speed limits should be seen by drivers as the maximum speed, rather than as a target speed at which to drive irrespective of conditions. It is often not appropriate or safe to drive at the maximum speed limit.

Some drivers choose to ignore speed limit changes leading to an increase in manoeuvres involving risk, such as overtaking or tailgating. Many drivers simply will not comply with lower speed limits and reductions are therefore unlikely to be successful without additional and sufficiently robust engineering measures, which understandably come at a cost that must be justified via objective data, such as accident trends and the causes of those accidents.

When looking at all incidents across the 3500 miles of roads we are responsible for, the objective way to try to prevent these with the limited resource we have, is by firstly funding improvements or changes to those locations with the most frequent occurrences and where there are identifiable treatable patterns in the causes of each of these.

You can report concerns about current speed limits via Report It, these will be firstly investigated by our Community Traffic Management Officers to establish if there is a record of community concern in the location and whether we hold any data that might support the concern.

In addition you can also discuss concerns about road safety with your local County Councillor who may consider recording the matter on their Divisional Highway Programme for further consideration. You can also visit the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership website for further advice and guidance.

How do I report issues with safety of a road? E.g. layout, accidents, etc.

We receive a high volume of requests for highway related improvements, and with reducing budgets each request is considered upon its own merits.

You can report any issues via Report It, these will be investigated by our Community Traffic Management Officers who will review any relevant data for the location and consider the local highway infrastructure.

What happens after I have reported an issue with the safety of a road?

We will consider your report and review any relevant data/information regarding the location. You will receive an automated response from the Community Traffic Management Officer, which will explain our position. If there is no data to support concerns about traffic speeds, accidents, or other matters, then it is unlikely we will plan to take any action however we will of course continue to monitor the location. If there is a record of similar concerns from the community then these may be referred to the Divisional Highway Programme for potential consideration in the future by the local County Councillor.

Can I request speed cameras?

The existing fixed speed cameras in Staffordshire are prioritised for use based on the recent collision history of the road. This ensures the limited resources available are used where they can have the most benefit in terms of reducing casualties.

There unfortunately is no opportunity for community input into this process as we adhere strictly to collision data criteria.

Where sites do not currently benefit from fixed speed cameras but community concerns about traffic speeds remain, the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) can consider the location for cyclical mobile enforcement. There are some criteria which must be investigated and met before sites can be included on the cyclical mobile enforcement programme.

The use of criteria, in order to provide justification for speed cameras, was a concept originally implemented by the Department for Transport (DfT) under the National Safety Camera Programme. 

When the DfT programme ended in 2007, we continued to use the same criteria as it was decided that this supported the most appropriate and effective use of camera enforcement.

The range of road safety interventions available was extended however, to enable a much greater level of support for communities where the stringent criteria required for fixed speed cameras is not met, but where local concerns about traffic speeds remain.

This has led to the development of many other initiatives. Initiatives such as:

  • Community concern speed enforcement locations,
  • Speed Indication Devices (SID),
  • and Community Speed Watch.

We realize that many of our communities have road safety concerns. We are currently considering reviewing our approach when working alongside communities over road safety concerns. This is with a view that in the future, our involvement will have evolved to provide much better support for community-owned measures, to help ensure their success.

I have received a speeding ticket, what do I do?

If you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) for a Speed Camera Offence, this will be from the Police as they enforce our road speeds. Please visit the Staffordshire Police Website for further information on speeding offences.

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