Urgent action needed to halt suicide on roads

Suicide roads

Suicide on highways has huge toll on friends, family and road users 

20th October 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Suicides on UK roads is a massive tragedy that urgently needs to be addressed, a conference has heard.

Samaritans' chief executive Ruth Sutherland told an event organised by the Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety (PACTS) that the suicides on UK roads was having a huge impact on friends, families and road users.

She said: "Suicide is a personal tragedy, but it also affects those left behind: families, friends and colleagues. And every incident of suicide on UK roads impacts on other road users and potentially puts them at risk.

"Improving record keeping to find the true scale of the problem is the first step towards tackling it."

Tackling suicides on roads is part of the charity’s overall strategy of suicide prevention, which includes the Local Action Saves Lives campaign, which aims to get all local authorities to implement effective suicide prevention plans.

It has also been running a seven-year suicide prevention partnership with Network Rail, the British Transport Police and the wider rail industry that it says could be applied to suicide prevention on the roads.

Katy Harrison, author of the PACTS report Suicide on UK Roads: Lifting the Lid, said: "In contrast to the rail sector and to mainstream road safety, there is an absence of information, research and concerted action to address the issue of road-related suicide.

“The highways community has yet to develop its approach to suicides or suicide prevention on the UK road network.

"Every single suicide that takes place on UK roads is a tragedy and, more importantly, is entirely preventable.

“We hope our research and this conference will be used to engage with UK policy makers on better awareness of this important issue and to initiate conversations about what future suicide prevention strategies might look like on the UK road network."