Website contents

Home page

A protest campaign over poor walking and cycling safety

Effective road safety planning: what should be happening

What the vision should be
Road safety planning and policing: what we have a right to expect
Poor Merseyside road casualties should be considered
Other relevant information
Past strategies
Options that should be considered

Merseyside road safety failures

Merseyside / national road safety failures

Merseyside road safety concerns

So-Mo project on pedestrian casualties

Merseyside road safety improvements

Taking action on poor road safety

Current campaigns





Best practice options: Safe System approach to road safety

The traditional approach to road safety

The now-discredited traditional approach to road safety is to accept that roads are dangerous places, and to assume that they can be made acceptably safe by setting rules, training users, and expecting users to follow the rules; if casualties occur, the assumptions is that one or more of the road users was to blame for not following the set rules.

The Safe System approach to road safety

In the Safe System approach to road safety, it is accepted that people have lapses of concentration and make errors of judgement (”make mistakes”), and so inevitably will not always act as hoped for. Roads are designed so that when users have not acted as expected, this does not result in deaths or serious injuries. If casualties occur, unless road users have been deliberately reckless, attention is given to what changes to the roads could have prevented the serious injury or death.

This is internationally regarded as best practice: it is recommended by the World Health Organisation and the OECD, and it is the basis of the Swedish Vision Zero and Dutch Sustainable Safety road safety plans.

Systematic Safety in the Netherlands

This is an 8 minute Youtube video on the Dutch system (which is also used in many other places) - it is written for a North American audience but it is still very relevant to the UK. (Click on the image or see

Last updated: 12 Jan 2020