New trial launched to reduce tailgating | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

New trial launched to reduce tailgating

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Transport & Travel Research Ltd and its parent company TRL have secured funding for a pilot scheme to reduce tailgating by business drivers.

The Road Safety Trust, a charity that funds research to support its objective of reducing road casualties, is putting the money in, and the next step is for TTR to get interest from potential local authority partners that would act as a host for the pilot in their area.

The Road Safety Trust says tailgating, is a widespread concern on UK roads, making drivers feel intimidated, aggravating congestion and contributing to 7% of collisions.

According to the road safety charity Brake, 44% of drivers are concerned about close-following most times that they drive on motorways; however, nearly 60% of drivers admit to leaving less than the recommended two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front.  The project will focus on business drivers because on average they undertake high annual driving mileages and are involved in a quarter of road traffic collisions.

Robert Gifford, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Trust said: “This project tackles two important issues: close following which is of concern to many road users and driving for work which poses increased risk to all drivers.  I hope that the Trust’s support will help to develop a useful tool for employers as they take their role in managing this issue seriously.”

Practical interventions may focus on education, engineering or enforcement approaches or a combination of these.

The TTR and TRL team is now looking for local authority partners to work with them to recruit employers within the pilot area and develop a package of behaviour change techniques to measure and influence attitudes towards close-following.

Marcus Jones, Senior Expert, Sustainable Mobility at TTR added, “the project provides an excellent opportunity for road safety departments to not only help tackle tailgating on their road networks, but develop new tools they can use in the future.”


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