Issue - meetings

East Sussex Road Safety Programme

Meeting: 26/11/2021 - Place Scrutiny Committee (Item 23)

23 East Sussex Road Safety Programme Outcomes pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.

Additional documents:


23.1     The Assistant Director, Communities introduced the report. The report provides the Committee with an update on the final outcomes of the East Sussex Road Safety Programme, which started in 2016. It has been identified from evidence both nationally and locally that the vast majority of Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) crashes and over 90% of collisions are due to driver behaviour or driver error. Therefore, the Programme trialled a number of interventions designed to change driver behaviour and reduce the number of Killed or Seriously Injured collisions (KSIs) in the County. The trials were developed by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) in conjunction with Sussex Police and other Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) partners. The Programme was funded by £950,000 from Public Health, based on the Public Health Outcomes Framework which identified that the proportion of people either killed or seriously injured on East Sussex roads was higher than the average rate for England.

23.2     Randomised controlled trial methodologies were used so that the evaluation of the outcomes is robust, and results can by applied with a high degree of confidence. There have been very few previous road safety trials that have used this methodology, which uses data science to show which interventions work in improving road safety. The Programme has included work on five behaviour change trials and the high risk sites trial. The high risk sites trial makes physical changes to how the road appears to drivers at certain sites to see how this changed driver behaviour. Four out of the five of the behaviour trials demonstrated positive outcomes, which included the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NiP) trial and the Anniversary trial. The results from the high risk sites trial of 15 schemes showed a reduction in the average number of crashes and the average number of casualties per annum.

23.3     Following the successful outcome of these trials further Public Health funding has been allocated to develop more trials. The Behavioural Insights Teams has been appointed to do this work which will take place during the summer of 2022 for implementation in the autumn.

23.4     The Committee welcomed the successful outcome of the trials and the positive impact that was made on the number of collision and KSIs. Anything that reduces collisions and casualties in East Sussex is very welcome. The Committee discussed the report and a summary of the questions raised and points made is given below.

Target Groups

23.5     Some Committee members commented that the high risk groups, such as the 18-24 year old age group, are well known and it would appear that the Council is spending money establishing the target groups and causes of collisions (such as driver inattention) which it already knows about. The Assistant Director, Communities outlined that it was important to be guided by the data and researching the target groups properly enabled an accurate understanding of the situation to be developed. This dispelled a number of myths such as elderly drivers and out of county drivers cause more KSIs,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23

Meeting: 17/03/2021 - Place Scrutiny Committee (Item 23)

23 Road Safety Programme - Interim Outcomes pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.

Additional documents:


23.1     The Assistant Director Communities introduced the report. He outlined that the Programme had involved working with the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) and other partners on pilot projects to reduce the number of Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) crashes on the County’s roads. The vast majority of KSI’s and collisions are due to a driver carelessness and error in which speed is also a factor. The Programme has devised a number of trial schemes to change driver behaviour using behavioural science techniques.


23.2     The report provides information on the interim outcomes of two trials aimed at reducing re-offending for speeding. One used a redesigned Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) letter and leaflet in which a randomised trial resulted in 23% of people less likely to re-offend. The second trail involved sending out an anniversary letter a year after the original speeding offence reminding people to continue to drive carefully within the speed limit. This was also successful in reducing re-offending levels. A third project targeted High Risk Routes where low cost measures such as changes to signs, road markings and speed limits were made to change the way the road appears to drivers to produce a ‘self-explaining’ road environment. This led to a decrease in the number of collisions on the eight sites that had a least 8 months post implementation crash data. Full results for all the trials will be reported later in the year.


23.3     The Committee welcomed the report and the encouraging results of the trial schemes. The Committee noted the innovative use of behavioural science techniques to change driver behaviour which is very important in order to reduce the number of KSI collisions in the County. A number of aspects of the report were discussed in more detail which are summarised below.


Behavioural Factors


23.4     The Committee commented that there may be a popular perception that speed is the only factor in causing collisions and other factors such as drink, drugs and driver error also need to be tackled.  The Assistant Director Communities outlined the ongoing work of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership which is crucial in tackling these issues through community engagement. The increased use of technology in the future will also play a part (e.g. driver behaviour monitoring through apps and ‘black boxes’). He added that most people involved in KSI collisions are travelling close to their home address.


23.5     The Lead Member for Communities and Safety outlined that the character of the roads in East Sussex is also a factor and people need to pay attention when they are driving. The emphasis of the report is on the trials to change driver behaviour, which can be challenging. The results are encouraging and there is the opportunity to apply them wider than the County.


Rural Unclassified Roads


23.6     Several members of the Committee highlighted the issue of people driving too fast on narrow and sometimes challenging unclassified rural roads, which typically have the national speed limit of 60  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23

Meeting: 13/09/2018 - Place Scrutiny Committee (Item 10)

10 East Sussex Road Safety Programme - Progress report pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.

Additional documents:


10.1     The Head of Communities introduced the report. She outlined the background to the report and that the position regarding the number of people Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI) in road collisions in East Sussex remains above the national average. Detailed statistical analysis has confirmed that 90-95% of KSI’s are caused by human error. This is based on the latest available KSI figures from the last two 2 quarters of 2017 and the first two quarters of 2018 (KSI figures for East Sussex: Quarter 3 of 2017, 109 KSI’s; Quarter 4 of 2017, 92 KSI’s; Quarter 1 of 2018, 65 KSI’s and; Quarter 2 of 2018, 102 KSI’s).


10.2     There are two strands of work in the East Sussex Road Safety Programme – Behavioural Change projects to tackle driving behaviour and Speed Management to introduce engineering measures at locations which have a higher than County average for KSI collisions.


Behavioural Change


10.3     The Programme continues to work with the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) on a number of projects. The BIT has taken an empirical approach and tested all data in order to produce a more realistic model of behaviour that has the ability to make changes in behaviour. Analysis work undertaken with the BIT has identified the vulnerable groups to target for behaviour change projects. This was endorsed by the Project Board which is a multi-agency group that includes the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP). It is anticipated that the projects will bring about the necessary behaviour change over the longer term, which will lead to a reduction of the number of KSI’s. The Projects include:


·        Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) – The amendment of the NIP warning letter to reduce reoffending rates for speeding. Immediately after an offence has been shown to be a good time to try and change people’s driving behaviour.

·        Operation Crackdown – The warning letter is to be amended to reduce re-offending from current rates.

·        Anniversary Project - After a speeding offence people resolve to change their driving behaviour. The Anniversary Project aims to re-contact people on the 6 month anniversary of the offence to remind people of their resolve to change their driving behaviour.

·        Social Media Project – This is a project targeted at 17-24 year old male drivers who are disproportionally represented in the KSI figures, but who are a hard to reach group in terms of contact and engagement to change behaviour. An online campaign will be delivered to engage with this hard to reach group. The ESCC Communications Team is working with private sector agency that has experience of working with this group to develop the project. The work has involved running focus groups to see how to get this group to engage with the project. The project is designed to get as many 17-24 year olds to sign up and engage with them to measure and implement behaviour change projects.

·        Biker Groups – Work has started to work with this group which will be tested and evaluated at forthcoming biker  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10

Meeting: 14/06/2017 - Economy, Transport and Environment Scrutiny Committee (Item 6)

6 East Sussex Road Safety Programme - Update pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Report by Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.

Additional documents:


6.1 The Head of Communities introduced the report. Although the number of Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) road accidents has reduced, the KSI rates are higher in East Sussex than the national average and for comparable Local Authorities. Analysis of the data shows that 90% - 95% are due to human error. Therefore, approaches need to be developed to tackle driver behaviour.


6.2 The Head of Communities outlined the work carried out with the Behavioural Insight Team (BIT), who are experts in the application of behavioural insight approaches to challenging areas of public policy, have looked at the East Sussex KSI data in detail. They found that what a driver is doing at the point of collision is more important than road conditions, or the reason for the journey, in accounting for the cause KSI accidents. The data analysis also found that the type of journey is not a predictive factor in determining the cause of KSI’s.


6.3 The East Sussex Road Safety Programme intends to develop interventions that target specific behaviours and types of driver involved in KSI’s. There are three target groups of drivers who account for a significant number of KSI’s:


·          Motorcyclists who cause, and are likely to be involved in, a significant number of KSI accidents;

·          Young drivers, and particularly male drivers, who are more likely to cause KSI’s; and

·          Car drivers who hit vulnerable groups such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.


6.4 The next step in the Programme is to determine the behaviour change projects that will be undertaken in conjunction with partners. The projects will need to run for sufficient time in order to gather enough data to carry out a proper evaluation of their effectiveness.  It is considered that road engineering solutions alone will not be sufficient to tackle the issue of higher numbers of KSI’s in East Sussex. However, the Programme Team recognise that they remain a part of the solution, and are working with Sussex Police on a prioritised speed management programme.


6.5 The Committee made a number of comments and asked questions about the programme. The points raised are summarised below.


Behavioural approach to reducing KSI’s


6.6 The Committee asked what is different, or new, about the Programme’s approach to reducing KSI’s in comparison with previous work. The Head of Communities responded that the projects provided an opportunity to look at the KSI data in depth to identify the causes of KSI’s. The analysis carried out by the Behavioural Insight team (BIT) has identified more clearly the reasons for KSI’s. The Project Manager added that the evidence is now pointing to driver error as being the main cause of KSI’s, and work is focussing on those factors which are more amenable to behavioural interventions. This approach is supported by the success of behavioural approaches used in tackling other public health issues. The Programme takes forward an area of work where there is a growing awareness of how behavioural techniques can be used successfully.


6.7 Some members of the Committee expressed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6

Meeting: 14/09/2016 - Economy, Transport and Environment Scrutiny Committee (Item 15)

15 Update on the East Sussex Road Safety Programme pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport


Additional documents:


15.1     The Head of Communities introduced the report on the East Sussex Road Safety Programme. Charlotte Marples, the Project Manager of the East Sussex Road Safety Programme, was introduced to the Committee.


15.2     In East Sussex 90-95% of Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) road accidents are caused by human error, which can be attributed to a number of different factors. It is important to have strong evidential data in order to target interventions that will have the most impact on reducing KSI’s. The feedback from the consultation with partners on the Programme has been very positive. The Behavioural Insight Team (BIT) is keen to work with the project, particularly because reducing KSI’s is a new area to apply behaviour change techniques.


15.3     The Programme Board for the project met on 22 August 2016, and is comprised of representatives from East Sussex County Council (ESCC), Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) and Highways England. The chair of the East Sussex Road Safety Coordination Group (ESRSCG) has also joined the Programme Board.


15.4     The Action Plan for the Programme is in appendix 3 of the report and will be reviewed in the light of further evidence and data analysis. Some strands of work have begun, such as work with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) to review the 40% KSI reduction target; measures targeting occupational drivers and; the implementation of speed reduction schemes. An update report will be brought back to the Committee in June 2017, once further analysis and progress has been made on the project.


15.5     The Committee made a number of comments on the East Sussex Road Safety Programme, which are summarised below.


People Driving for Business / Occupational Drivers

15.6     The Committee commented that there are increasing numbers of delivery drivers as a result of internet shopping. It is important for businesses to appreciate their responsibilities for safer driving. Many delivery drivers are self-employed whose earnings are related to the number of packages they deliver. The Committee asked if companies such as Amazon and others would be held accountable for their drivers.


15.7     The Head of Communities responded that the project will tackle this issue through the delivery of the Company Operator Safer Transport Scheme (COSTS) programme. This is a Department for Transport (DfT) programme that advises companies on their liabilities, obligations and the law when employing drivers for work. The COSTS programme will target small and medium sized businesses that may not have the same resources as larger companies for driver training.


15.8     The Lead Member for Community Services outlined that the SSRP COSTS project is delivering presentations to the business community as Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) may be unaware of the current legislation. There is also a need to contact businesses and raise awareness through the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Chambers of Commerce and other business organisations.


Older Drivers

15.9     The Committee is aware of a number of serious accidents in East Sussex that have involved older  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15