HC Deb 05 February 2001 vol 362 cc380-1W
Mr. Sanders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will list the statutory duties of local authorities in respect of road safety; [148198]

(2) what guidance is given to local authorities for the appointment of (a) road safety officers and (b) environmental health officers; [148199]

(3) what guidance he has issued to road safety officers in the past 12 months. [148197]

Mr. Hill

Local authorities have a duty under section 39 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 both to promote road safety, and to study road traffic accidents in their areas and take appropriate remedial measures.

It is for local authorities to decide how to discharge these duties, including decisions on staffing levels and recruitment. However, the Road Safety Strategy, "Tomorrow's Road—Safer for Everyone", recorded the value we place on the contribution that can be made by Road Safety Officers (RSOs), and encouraged National Vocational Qualifications for these officers. We require local authorities to describe, in their Road Safety Strategies, the Education, Training and Publicity programmes being undertaken by their RSOs.

There are twice yearly Departmental meetings with the local authority Road Safety Officers Association and the Association of London Borough Road Safety Officers, which provide RSOs with guidance on Government policy. The last meeting was in December last year. We also liaise with RSOs over publicity campaigns, so they can carry out complementary activity. Literature of relevance to RSOs is distributed to them as and when it becomes available.

The role of Environmental Health Officers would not be expected to have a focus on road safety.