The importance of aligning efforts to save lives

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The need for careful planning of any road safety initiative is crucial to its chance of success. When working across sectors with multiple road safety actors the need for careful planning is further heightened – yet with such an integrated approach, so too is the potential for results.

To illustrate, when addressing speed as a key risk factor there are a number of elements that all play a role in an effective and integrated strategy. Naturally there must be laws on the legal speed at which a driver may drive on a given section of road. These speeds must be appropriate to the condition of the road, the mix of traffic and the presence and location of pedestrians. Such speeds must be on display and made known to the driver.

There must then be effective enforcement of speeds: this is more than an occasional police presence and appropriate penalties. Enforcement too needs to be planned and managed to ensure best use of resources. It needs to target the appropriate locations and times. Checkpoints must be safe for both the police and drivers. Such checkpoints must also serve as a collection point for valuable data which may then be used to track recitivism and analyse changes in driver behaviour.

Moreover, enforcement campaigns are at their most effective when aligned with strategic social marketing campaigns. These marketing campaigns educate the public and media alike about the safety risks associated with speeding, as well as the presence of increased enforcement activity.

It is when all these cogs work as one, when efforts are aligned, that lives are saved on our roads.