Challenge complacency and save lives with new road traffic safety standard, says BSI

Press Release - 14th November 2012

Business standards company, BSI has launched a new standard to address international concerns around road traffic safety.

BS ISO 39001 - Road traffic safety management systems, provides a common, agreed industry standard aimed at targeting the reduction of death and serious injury in road traffic crashes.

The new standard urges organizations to demonstrate their commitment to the safety and welfare of employees and the general public by adopting a best practice management framework to reduce exacerbating risks in this area.

ISO 39001 provides a structured, holistic approach to road-traffic safety to complement existing road traffic programmes and regulations. The standard is based on a process approach encouraging continual improvement, proven by successful ISO standards such as ISO 9001 for quality management.

Importantly, the standard includes an annex which compares the requirements of the road safety standard with BS OHSAS 18001, the recognised management system standard for occupational health and safety which sets out a structured framework for combatting complacency and identifying continual improvements in best practice safety management.

The timely publication of BS ISO 39001 coincides with the recent Department for Transport (DfT) annual report which shows that socio-economic and health impacts of road traffic crashes are substantial. The study highlights a 3% increase in people killed in road traffic accidents from 2010 to 2011 as well as a 2% increase in those seriously injured.

In response to these findings BSI has worked with other national standards bodies and influential experts from the road traffic field to deliver a consensus-driven standard to help mitigate such risks. Road traffic safety is the shared responsibility of many stakeholders including road authorities, governments, safety groups and private organizations. BS ISO 39001 aims to encourage innovative solutions from these varied parties to deliver best practice safety measures such as straighter design of roads where possible, safer placing of traffic cones and enhanced driver training for drivers of fleet vehicles.

“Global research has shown that death and serious injury can be considerably reduced by adopting a holistic safe system approach to road traffic safety,” said Elaine Munro, Global Portfolio Manager at BSI. “Road traffic safety lies at the core of a wide range of business activities - for example maintaining an organisation’s reputation, protecting income and revenue opportunity, managing business risk and conducting business responsibly through adherence to best practice road management standards.”

“This standard, if adopted widely, could make an important contribution to saving lives and preventing serious injuries,” added Jeanne Breen, Chair of the BSI road safety panel and UK delegate to the ISO technical committee which developed and drafted the standard. “Many organizations already have policies and procedures in place aimed at managing the risk of death and serious injury due to road traffic crashes, however the introduction of a specific standard in this area will encourage a comprehensive , focused and evidence-based approach to be taken towards achieving road safety results.“

The demand for a global road traffic safety standard is reflected in the fact that 39 countries have been involved in the development of ISO 39001 with representation from, amongst others, the following organizations from within the UK: The Association of British Insurers, Association of Car Fleet Operators, Roadsafe and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

The standard is expected to have broad appeal to public and private organizations of all types and sizes but will be of particular interest to organizations operating fleets of vehicles, road constructors and maintainers and organizations that create demand for the road traffic such as retail organisations and public services.

About BSI

BSI (British Standards Institution) is a global organization that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. Formed in 1901, BSI was the world’s first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Over a century later it continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, reduce risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which BSI originated. Famed for its marks of excellence including the instantly recognizable Kitemark®, BSI’s influence spans multiple sectors including aerospace, construction, energy, engineering, finance, healthcare, IT and retail. With over 70,000 clients in 150 countries, BSI is an organization whose standards inspire excellence across the globe.