Frequently Asked Questions

An accident has happened here, what can be done about it?

In the case of single/one off accidents it is difficult to identify a specific safety improvement that will help to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. Road safety improvements are most effective when based on detailed analysis of a number of similar accidents and for this reason Somerset Road Safety looks at details of a minimum of seven accidents when identifying specific improvements.

Each year there are over 1500 personal injury accidents recorded by the Police within Somerset. Using the GIS Accident Software system, all accidents are analysed and then broken down into cluster (a geographical grouping regardless of road), length (a grouping along a specific road) or Urban Safety Management priorities. This process generates lists of sites that are further analysed and enables Somerset Road Safety to produce prioritised shortlists of improvements.

If an accident results in a fatality then it will be investigated by the Police Collision Investigation team and subsequently by the Somerset Road Safety Accident Investigation and Prevention (AIP) Team. From these investigations any recommendations with regards to safety improvements will be proposed.

Does someone have to die before anything is done to this bit of road?

No, but before targeted safety improvements can be identified, Somerset Road Safety needs to have enough evidenced information of a specific problem. This is usually based on a minimum of seven accidents involving personal injury.

There is an accident waiting to happen, what can be done about it?

Whilst it may be easy to imagine how an accident may occur, Somerset Road Safety cannot predict accidents. The current method of identifying and targeting accidents is not carried out based on risk or likelihood. Without evidenced information it is not possible to consider how any part of our highway may be made safer.

Lots of accidents have happened here, what are you doing about it?

Somerset Road Safety (SRS) base all of their improvements on personal injury accidents (PIAs) recorded by the Police. If there is a treatable record of PIAs, this will be identified and prioritised for improvement by SRS. Whilst there are many damage-only accidents across Somerset, information regarding these is not recorded consistently and so cannot be considered within the analysis work of SRS.

This road has always been dangerous, what can be done about it?

Firstly, the cause of any danger needs to be identified. If there is a treatable record of personal injury accidents (PIAs) this will be identified and prioritised for improvement by Somerset Road Safety. If we have no record of PIAs, this does not mitigate potential danger. Discuss the danger with your local Parish Council and County Councillors.

Cars are speeding along this road, what can be done about it?

Avon and Somerset Police are responsible for enforcing all speed limits on highways. Somerset County Council has no direct powers over speeds but maintains Speed Limit Traffic Restriction Orders, signs and lines.

If you consider traffic to be speeding on your road, it is always a good starting point to contact your Local Community Police Officer, and Parish Council, to discuss your concerns. It may be possible to establish a locally run Community Speed Watch scheme.

How can I get accident data?

Somerset Road Safety (SRS) holds copies of personal injury accident (PIA) data supplied by Avon and Somerset Police. SRS does not keep, or supply, damage only accident data. If you would like some PIA data please complete the form, found here, and send it to the address on the form. You will be contacted about processing time and whether the request is chargeable.

As detailed in the Somerset County Council’s Freedom of Information Register, certain types of requested personal injury accident data can incur a charge.

How do I get a speed limit/ How do I get a speed limit changed?

From a road safety perspective, a new speed limit alone is unlikely to result in a significant drop in existing accident problems. Analysis of accidents in Somerset has not shown any site where the only accident cause is speed.  If you consider traffic to be speeding on your road, contact your Local Community Police Officer, and Parish Council, to discuss your concerns. It may be possible to establish a locally run Community Speed Watch scheme.

Reviewing new and existing speed limits can take many months. Make contact with your District Area Traffic Engineer via County Hall telephone number and discuss your request. The Engineer will be able to talk through the many processes involved and, if appropriate, will arrange for traffic speed and volume counts to be taken, in addition to reviewing any relevant accident data.

How do I get traffic calming?

Somerset County Council does not currently have a budget for building bespoke traffic calming schemes. However, a good starting point for considering if any improvements can be made to traffic movements, is to contact your District Area Traffic Engineer via the County Hall telephone number and discuss the issues. Alternatively, contact your County Councillor and Town or Parish Council to see if they are able to help progress your request. Another possible route may be in the case of a new local development (such as a housing estate or industrial units) predicted to increase traffic on your road. Here it may be possible to ask the developer to fund appropriate calming.

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