Road Safety Investigations Branch announced by Department for Transport

A new independent body modelled on the Air, Marine and Rail Investigation Branches aims to cut UK road casualties

Traffic officer Volvo XC90

A new independent Road Safety Investigations Branch has been announced by the Department for Transport, which will investigate incidents on the country’s roads, with a view to advising on ways to improve road safety and reduce casualties.

The RSIB will have a similar remit to the long-standing Air, Marine and Rail Accident Investigation Branches in terms of providing insights into best practise, but unlike those bodies it will not send investigators to crash scenes. On the ground investigations will remain within the remit of local police forces, but the RSIB will act on reports provided and will provide a national picture that’s currently missing.

The RSIB has been set-up as a response to a Roads Policing Review which highlighted the lack of any national oversight of road safety. In contrast the Air Accident Investigations Branch has been operating for more than a century, while the Marine and Rail Investigation Branches were set up in 1989 and 2005, respectively. 

As fatal and serious road accidents are investigated by police forces, the RSIB will not have any input in apportioning blame or liability relating to individual road traffic accidents and collisions. Instead RSIB investigations will focus on factors beyond the police remit, to gain insights into the causes and contributory factors leading to incidents, with a focus on learning and prevention.

When consulting on the possible formation of the new investigatory body, the Department of Transport said: “The establishment of an RSIB will draw together the existing data landscape alongside information from insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers and medical organisations to enable a more concerted and holistic analysis of incidents and the suitability of various interventions. This should, in turn, help to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads”.

police speed gun

New developments in the transport sector, including the roll-out of increasingly automated vehicles, made the case for the RSIB even more pressing, it said.

Transport secretary of state Grant Shapps said: “This independent, safety-focused Branch will learn the lessons from road collisions and other incidents including those involving self-driving vehicles by carrying out independent investigations and making recommendations to prevent future incidents, make our roads even safer and save lives across the country.

“The Branch will also provide vital insight into safety trends related to new and evolving technologies, which will help ensure road safety policy keeps pace with new developments.

“We expect to include measures to enable creation of the Branch in the forthcoming Transport Bill.”

Now read about the new £160 fines for driving in cycle lanes...

Recommended

UK new car registrations down nine per cent in July
v5c document
News

UK new car registrations down nine per cent in July

Semiconductor shortage, Covid restrictions in China and war in Ukraine all contribute to fifth consecutive month of decline
4 Aug 2022
Nearly three quarters of drivers have almost had a car crash
Braking
News

Nearly three quarters of drivers have almost had a car crash

Research shows 72 per cent of drivers have had a near-miss, while drivers also estimate that they see around 14 incidents of illegal driving every wee…
3 Aug 2022
Fines not being enforced for drivers in red ‘X’ motorway lanes
M6 motorway traffic
News

Fines not being enforced for drivers in red ‘X’ motorway lanes

Police forces are failing to enforce red ‘X’ offences on smart motorways as effectively as first hoped, a Government minister has revealed
28 Jul 2022
Car sales staff make or break a dealership
Car salesperson demonstrating interior to customer
News

Car sales staff make or break a dealership

Survey reveals customers value good dealer staff over facilities, processes and pricing
27 Jul 2022

Most Popular

New 2022 MG7 could be a cut-price Audi A5
MG 7 - side
News

New 2022 MG7 could be a cut-price Audi A5

The new MG7 saloon has been teased ahead of its August reveal
8 Aug 2022
UK petrol and diesel prices: unleaded to fall below 175p
High fuel prices. £2 per litre
News

UK petrol and diesel prices: unleaded to fall below 175p

Average price of petrol expected to fall below 175p per litre for the first time since early June
12 Aug 2022
New Kia Niro EV 2022 review
Kia Niro EV - front tracking
Road tests

New Kia Niro EV 2022 review

The new Kia Niro EV boasts a number of key upgrades over its top-selling predecessor, but battery range isn't really one of them
12 Aug 2022