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Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change

First published:
15 December 2022
Last updated:

One of the main factors deterring people from walking and cycling is not feeling safe. Improving road safety will not only help to reduce the number of people who are seriously injured and killed on our roads every year, but it will also help to encourage more people to cycle or walk, instead of using the car for shorter journeys.

We will be developing a new road safety strategy, which will complement Llwybr Newydd: the Wales Transport Strategy 2021 and the National Transport Delivery Plan. We believe that road safety should become part of the remit for the new Corporate Joint Committees as part of their regional transport plans.

The new strategy will include new ways of thinking about and understanding of road safety, incorporating latest international thinking, including Vision Zero and the Safe System.

Vision Zero has the long-term goal for a road traffic system, which is eventually free from death and serious injury, based on a guiding ‘moral’ principle to treat road deaths as unacceptable and avoidable, rather than accidents which we should tolerate. It involves an important shift from trying to prevent all collisions to preventing death and mitigating serious injury in road traffic collisions, a problem which is largely preventable based on current knowledge. 

The Safe System is based on a series of important underlying principles which include that people make frequent mistakes that lead to road collisions and that road safety is a shared responsibility between all stakeholders, which includes road users, road managers and vehicle manufacturers. It is increasingly being adopted throughout Europe, Australasia and North America.

The Safe System has five pillars of action:

  • Safe road use
  • Safe vehicles
  • Safe speeds
  • Safe roads and roadsides
  • Post-crash response

A mid-term review of the Road Safety Framework for Wales of 2013 was conducted in 2018, identifying a number of changes around governance, behaviour change, target groups, data, evidence, collision investigation and technology.

We have today published a final review of the existing Road Safety Framework and will now begin work to draft a new strategy and delivery plan.