Road Safety Management and Partnerships

Road Safety Management and Partnerships

How Effective?

  • It has been evident throughout the evaluation (of the delivery of local road safety) that a ‘synergy’ effect has been achieved by local and sub-regional partnerships. The key benefits identified by partnership members included:
    • Greater resource availability (financial and personnel);

    • Wider stakeholder contacts, networks and, therefore, involvement/influence;

    • Reduced duplication of investment;

    • Integration of investment solutions (‘packages’) generating benefits greater than the individual elements; and,

    • Economy of scale due to the increased bargaining power of a partnership, especially in the case of ETP interventions.

(AECOM, 2011)

  • Within the overall Road Safety Partnership Grant Scheme, some key learning points include the following:

    • Education, Training and Publicity and enforcement initiatives, which are well-targeted on high risk groups and use data effectively, can have substantial impacts reducing road deaths and serious injuries.

    • Close collaboration with partners has often been vital.

    • In some cases, participation by partner organisations was not as fully realised as originally envisaged (or promised). The importance of defining and then maintaining partner relationships and contribution throughout the project and beyond (whether financial or in-kind) was keenly felt.

    • Notwithstanding effective scheme project planning, some larger-scale engineering projects found additional delays caused by utility networks negotiation, recruitment and local political scrutiny.

    • In a number of cases, the projects led to better co-operation between neighbouring authorities.

(DfT, 2009a; 2009b)


  • An assessment of the road safety management strategies employed in Western Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland identified some key factors for success.
    • Setting realistic targets, designing road safety strategies and action plans to achieve these targets and monitoring progress have resulted in more scientific research to support decision-making and improved the quality of decisions.

    • Ex-post and ex-ante evaluations are critical to further underpin road safety management decisions.

    • Transferability of research results in road safety (external validity) deserves further research.

    • High-quality road safety data and statistics are essential for road safety management.

    • There were clear indications that decision makers are willing to accept results from scientific research.

(Wegman et al., 2015)

  • The key themes that emerged from a survey of Road Safety Officers in 2012 were:
    • The value of partnership working: nearly all participants felt that partnership working was very important and achieved more than by working alone.

    • Impact of loss of funding: many felt the loss of the specific Road Safety grant made it very difficult to keep the strategic partnerships going.

    • Partnership working has suffered since the grant finished and economic recession begun: a key barrier to partnership working was the loss of funds provided by the grant and because of cuts related to economic recession.

    • Partners-gains and losses: most of the road safety officers said that they were still working with key professional partners although many reported the diminishing role of the police in their partnership as they were retreating to core business, such as enforcement. This was described as one of the ‘biggest fall outs’ from the partnerships dissolving.

    • Forward looking partnerships: many participants were determined to continue to work in partnership and were positive about the challenge of working together to deliver cost efficient road safety interventions.

    • The community as a partner: Useful information emerged regarding how they engaged with the community and what mechanisms were used. None of the participants had been given specific training about how to engage with the community. Many participants highlighted the importance of engaging with the local community, especially for behaviour change.

    • Sustainability: uncertainty about the future was a key theme with isolated examples of where participants were identifying opportunities to ensure the sustainability of the partnership. Some participants saw the move of public health to the local authority and the ‘Joint Strategic Needs Assessment’ process as a way of embedding casualty reduction as a future health and wellbeing outcome.

  • The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has also called for formal road safety partnerships to be maintained or established to manage road safety activities and that they should include the road safety team, Fire and Rescue services, the injury prevention coordinator, the NHS, Police, local education authorities and local safeguarding boards. NICE recommend that partnerships should:

    • Have a member of staff responsible for road safety partnership work;

    • Develop policies with the community; and,

    • Secure funding for local projects that makes best use of local data to understand the demographics and risk-exposure data of those involved in injuries.

(Christie and Buckle, 2012)

  • Multi-sector partnerships create sustainable change in road safety by bringing together all the relevant stakeholders, from business, government and civil society organisations, and helping them to implement proven road safety solutions that are adapted for the local language and context.

  • Despite the very different approaches used by these three sectors, within a partnership the right platform can be found to discuss and identify the problems and to seek sustainable, locally owned and managed solutions.

(Global Road Safety Partnership, 2011)

  • Without the support (whether in kind or financial) of partners, projects [supported by the Road Safety Partnership Grant scheme] would not have been successful, especially in terms of helping to target hard to reach audiences. Several of the projects demonstrate clearly that effective collaborative working often brings about better results.

  • Local partners are always important and many of the projects showed excellence in working this way. In the projects in Luton, Buckinghamshire andWest Sussex, the support of police partners was key to successful outcomes. InLutonand Haringey, great efforts were made to work with the local Muslim communities through their leadership groups. Similarly, inWigan, this idea was taken and extended to creating road safety champions from the local community.

(King et al, 2011)

  • As part of a Road Safety Officers (RSO) team leaders’ survey, RSOs were asked to what extent working with partners helped respondents to conduct road safety education, training and publicity and build their capacity within existing budgets. The majority (70 per cent) of respondents said that partnership working provided them with new skills/resources, and expanded capacity of what they could do with existing budgets. A further 25 per cent felt that it gave them access to new skills but did not necessarily help them to stretch budgets and 5 per cent said that it helped the budget, but did not increase their skills base. None of the respondents provided a wholly negative response (i.e. that partnership working neither provides new skills/resources nor expands what can be done within existing budgets).

  • The key factor in successful partnership working was identified as establishing and maintaining communication with partners. It was considered important to be persistent, especially with the schools. Once dialogue is established, it has to be kept regular and two-way. The most successful partnerships have been established this way and schools have become proactive in approaching the RSOs. One problem identified was the high turnover of teachers. It was considered important that schools be proactive and take responsibility for the hand over of contact details to maintain liaison between the two parties.

  • Working partnerships with other partners relied more heavily on individuals who were interested in road safety education and on the time they were allocated to spend on the area. If these contacts moved jobs or retired, the impact on partnership working was considerably higher than with schools. Officers felt there was little that they could do themselves to control this.

  • Despite close working relationships with a number of partners, some officers still said that there was scope for closer partnership working. The main groups that officers would like to work more closely with were health authorities and health workers, driving and riding organisations or instructors, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and educational groups, and emergency services staff.

(MVA Consultancy, 2009)

  • Although road safety and environmental concerns are both important areas of concern, they are often considered separately with the advocates of each area tending to operate separately. The opportunity and imperative exists to bring sustainable transport and road safety together in a more integrated way in order to facilitate better environmental and road safety outcomes.

(May et al, 2011)

  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 03:05 PM
  • Last Update: 12 Feb 2016, 11:05 AM