UN Decade for Road Safety: buses and coaches in the UK deliver
Travelling by bus or coach is by far the safest form of road passenger transport in the UK. It is over seven times safer than a journey made by car. Fewer cars on our roads also mean lower congestion and ultimately fewer accidents:
- A 60% reduction in road fatalities has been achieved by the UK bus and coach industry between 2001 and 2008, thus becoming the first and, for the moment, the only road transport mode having met the EU road safety policy objective of halving the number of deaths on European roads.
- The average fatality rate over the last 10 years for car occupants was 2.5 per billion passenger kilometres, while the average for vans was 0.8. The average fatality rates for bus or coach passengers (0.3) and for rail passengers (0.3) have been similar over the last 10 years. (DfT transport trends 2009)
- In the UK, all buses and coaches which are not used for urban transport and built since 1st October 2001 are required to have seatbelts.
- The UK Vehicle & Operator Service Agency (VOSA) is responsible for improving roadworthiness standards and has the power to check vehicles for general roadworthiness. It can also inspect vehicles in accidents where mechanical defects may have been the cause. There are strict guidelines issued by VOSA to ensure that bus and coaches are kept road worthy.
- Bus and coach travel is statistically the safest form of road transport for people in the UK. Drivers of these vehicles are professionals and have to pass a much more stringent driving test than the car test.