More accurate data on road casualties should be a priority and not restricted to the initial judgement of police officers at the scene, a major road safety charity has said.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has finalised recommendations on its review of the STATS19 system, which records road traffic collision data, and asked for further feedback on them.
The data is recorded mainly by the police, but also the public through online self-reporting, and is popularly known as STATS19, after the code number of the collection form.
In its response, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) said it welcomes the review and supports four of the six proposals to revise or improve the details collected:
- collecting information on seat belt and helmet wearing in slight injury collisions;
- continuing to collect information on journey purpose and aligning it with National Travel Survey;
- adding a category of “powered personal transporter device” to the vehicle list – to record e-scooters etc;
- rationalising the contributory factors collected and grouping them under the five Safe System pillars;
However, it said it disagrees with the DfT’s proposal ‘that the scope of STATS19 remain unchanged as initial judgement of the officer at the scene’.
It said it ‘believes it is more important to improve the accuracy and completeness of the STATS19 database by allowing the police forensic collision teams to add or correct key data on fatal collisions for seat belt wearing, alcohol and drugs, speed etc’.
On the questions of whether ethnicity should remain out of the scope of STATS19, PACTS said it ‘believes there are pros and cons’ and called for more research on this.
TRL has also submitted a response to the recommendations, stating that it broadly supported them, but ‘highlighting some areas where additional clarification or information could be of benefit’.