RoSPA publishes ‘Road Safety and Public Health’ report

RoSPA has published a report looking at the current level of integration of road safety with other public health activities. The report highlights examples of good practice, provides guidance to road safety officers and public health practitioners and catalogues ideas and concepts that could be used by different local authorities to help achieve their objectives.


The report makes four recommendations:


  1. Public health and road safety work should be integrated
    Road safety issues can be integrated with wider public health by considering how road safety can increase physical activity and promotion of ‘healthy transport’. Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) should include road safety issues and there are opportunities to integrate work by exploring the joint funding of inventions.
  2. Collaborative working
    Public health and road safety are linked by factors such as speed and the volume of traffic which can increase injuries and prevent people taking part in healthy activities.
  3. Consider co-benefits when planning and evaluating work
    Co-benefits are the additional benefits of activity beyond its primary of aim. Eg. For example, by introducing a dedicated cycle lane more people are encouraged to cycle and will feel a positive health benefit as a result. The wider positive, or indeed (unintended) negative, impact of road safety activities on wider health should therefore be considered carefully.
  4. Shared data and evidence
    Sharing of data and evidence between road safety and public health teams can greatly improve the effectiveness of actions and objectives. More use should also be made of existing published guidance by organisations like NICE and WHO.


Partnership working

Several recent events have again highlighted the benefits of integrated working:


  1. In April 2013 there were significant changes to both health and social care with some aspects of public health now managed by local authorities.
  2. Road safety has also undergone similar changes with many departments reorganised or integrated with other teams.



Local authorities now have a great influence on road safety and through careful planning and management can link this with other services such as housing, planning, community safety and leisure activities. Local authorities also have a statutory duty to carry out road safety activities.

The way people travel is influenced by actual or perceived concerns about safety. Therefore effective intervention can improve road safety and encourage people to walk or cycle which in turn has a positive health benefit or individuals and society as a whole.

RoSPA’s research

The information in the report comes from case studies of partnership working between road safety and public health teams, case studies of activities that impact on both road safety and public health, and a review of a sample of JSNAs.

Road safety resources

You can download the road safety and public health report (PDF, 1.1MB) from RoSPA’s website.

CAPT has a range of child accident prevention products to help keep children safe on the roads including:



About RoSPA

RoSPA is a registered charity that has been campaigning against accident prevention in the UK and around the world for almost 100 years. Through safety education they promote safety and the prevention of accidents at work, at leisure, on the road and at home.


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Updated March 2014