Redspeed And Westcotec To Announce UK’s First Distracted Driver Road Safety Trial

Redspeed and Westcotec have announced the launch of a major new road safety trial at the Young Driver Focus 2023 Event at London’s prestigious RAC Club.

Born of the intuition that distracted drivers are fundamentally more dangerous than focussed drivers, this privately funded trial will be the UK’s first to explore the facts behind that intuition.

The overriding objective is toestablish just how effective the latest camera and signage technology can be in influencing beter KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) outcomes through intervention enforcement.

Previous research, led by Dr Nagendra Velaga of the Indian Institute of Technology, has demonstrated via a simulation that, at 45mph, a driver talking on a mobile phone is nearly three times more likely to be involved in a collision than a driver not doing so, whereas a driver texting is four times more likely {Choudhary P and Velaga NR (2017) Mobile phone use during driving: Effects on speed and effectiveness of driver compensatory behaviour, Accident Analysis and Prevention 106, 370-378}.

The same research revealed that a driver talking on the phone would travel nearly 20 metres further if required to brake in an emergency, and almost 40 metres if texting.

These findings are supported by analysis of 3 years worth of UK Government STATS19 database statistics relating to KSI figures. The analysis shows that 24% of distracted drivers were KSI’d due to mobile phone use (compared to 28% of distracted drivers KSI’d due to alcohol use).

Recent changes in legislation and the development of Redspeed’s advanced automated distracted driver camera system mean that it’s now possible for Redspeed, Westcotec and Imperial College London to test and measure the efficacy of the new technology and signage in detecting and modifying distracted driver behaviour.

The 18-month ‘randomised control trial’ designed by Imperial College London seeks to compare ‘before and after’ data at 40 intervention and control sites across a number of UK local authority areas to establish the effectiveness of Redspeed’s roadside cameras and Westcotec’s electronic sign technology, in modifying distracted driver behaviour. Motorists will see and respond to ‘Hands off your phone’ or similar messaging delivered via a bespoke display system that can be optimally adapted to meet site-specific requirements. This dual approach and ability to directly compare data from both intervention and control sites will help ensure the desired confidence levels are met.

The data analysis, carried out independently by Imperial College London, will employ rigorous statistical analyses to establish magnitude and confidence behind the observed effects of the interventions. The findings will be presented in a detailed report and published in an academic journal, following independent peer-review.

The campaign will be publicised through advertising and social media activity.

A commitment to road safety has long been embedded at the heart of Redspeed’s and Westcotec’s values and motivation.

It is well-known from established and respected research (The national safety camera programme Four-year evaluation report December 2005, PA Consulting Group, UCL, University of Liverpool and Napier University) that the Safety Camera Programme has been shown to increase compliance with speed and red light laws, helping to reduce KSIs by 40%).

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