Skip advert
Advertisement

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. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

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...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

M25 closed again! Motorway now shut until 6am Monday, so “only travel if necessary”
Map displaying the closed stretch of M25 between J10 and J11
News

M25 closed again! Motorway now shut until 6am Monday, so “only travel if necessary”

The M25 will be closed from 9pm on Friday 12 July until 6am Monday 15 July
12 Jul 2024
New EU checks mean drivers must brace for two-hour queues at Port of Dover this summer
Ships at port
News

New EU checks mean drivers must brace for two-hour queues at Port of Dover this summer

Ferry passengers should expect the port to be “exceptionally busy” over the next few months as essential upgrades coincide with the Olympic Games in P…
12 Jul 2024
New AI cameras clamp down on drivers using mobile phones at the wheel
Using the phone while driving
News

New AI cameras clamp down on drivers using mobile phones at the wheel

A trial using AI cameras to catch those using their phone while driving has been extended after number of convictions almost doubled
11 Jul 2024
Supercar driving licences: why you could soon need a special licence to drive a Ferrari
Driving licence UK
News

Supercar driving licences: why you could soon need a special licence to drive a Ferrari

New Ultra-High Performance licence will mean Australian drivers will have to attend a course in order to get behind the wheel of the fastest cars
9 Jul 2024

Most Popular

New Ford Capri preview: famous name returns on 390-mile electric coupe-SUV
Ford Capri - front action
News

New Ford Capri preview: famous name returns on 390-mile electric coupe-SUV

Ford has reimagined one of its most iconic nameplates as a rival for the Volkswagen ID.5 and Skoda Enyaq Coupe
13 Jul 2024
Covers are off new MG HS family SUV at Goodwood Festival of Speed
MG HS on display at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2024 - front static
News

Covers are off new MG HS family SUV at Goodwood Festival of Speed

The previous MG HS was a big-seller for MG in the UK and there are high hopes for this one…
12 Jul 2024
Car Deal of the Day: updated Nissan Qashqai with sharp looks and hybrid power for only £220 per month
Nissan Qashqai - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: updated Nissan Qashqai with sharp looks and hybrid power for only £220 per month

Nissan’s recently refreshed family SUV with hybrid power for close to £200 per month is our Car Deal of the Day for 10 July
10 Jul 2024