The ‘Efficacy’ of RoadSafe Website

Anyone that has gone through my previous blog posts will know that I’m a user of the RoadSafe London website and I was invited to meet the team that run it.

Only today I reported two incidences to RoadSafe, one for a white van that overtook me far to close and another where I’m concerned that a scooter rider hasn’t done his CBT and is putting him self in danger due to his riding style.

Recently a Freedom of information request was logged by Tim Lennon asking the following questions to the Metropolitan Police Service about the RoadSafe Website. Questions are in bold and the full FOI can be found here.

  1. How many people have visited the site since its inception?
    Since November 2009 the site has been visited 8235 times.
  2. How many copies of the form have been filled in? by how many individuals?
    From Nov to Dev 2009 = 12 Reports
    from Jan 2010 to date = 1213 reports
    The system does not capture data to provide detail of how many individuals have filled in forms.
  3. What transport method was in use by those filling in the form?
    Details of mode of transport is not logged
  4. How many people have been contacted (i.e. those listed in ‘driver details’ or ‘vehicle details’)
    We have sent 659 letters to resisted keepers and/or companies
  5. How many individuals and individual vehicles have been named in these forms?
    58 drivers named
  6. What action has been taken in each instance? (if detail is expensive to provide, you may simply advise how many have been cautioned , how many have had words of advice or similar, and how many have been pursued with further legal means.)
    Nine specific tasks aimed at disqualified or drink drivers. Resulting in two disqualified drivers arrested, one suspected persistent drink driver stopped.
    Eight reports generated and forwarded to our criminal justice unit for a decision on prosecution.
    Twenty eight intelligence reports passed to the MPS Cab Enforcement office.
    Four interest reports added to the ANPR database.
    Twenty one Intelligence reports disseminated to other MPS units.
    Twenty nine previously unreported collisions received.
    Four company visits made by our Commercial Vehicle Unit.
    Twenty one cycle intelligence reports passed to newly formed cycle team to deal.
    Eleven reports passed to our Traffic Management Unit to investigate alleged problems with road engineering. One of these resulted in recommendation to council for engineering solution. This has now been completed with new bollards and signs put in place.
    There have been 393 instances of no further action from reports created.
  7. Has any cost benefit analysis or similar been done of the site and its activity (if so, can you supply this data or report?)

I don’t know the person that requested this FOI, or what there intentions where, I’m unaware if they are a blogger as i was passed this link by one of my twitter followers and he found it in the comments of another blog post.

A lot of people are complaining that this is no better than before. The roadsafe website makes it easy to make a complaint about a vehicle and their driver but without proof the police are unlikely to do anything about it. Which to me is understandable.
And you have to be realistic with what you expect them to do.

Looking at the results of the FOI request, it’s clear that they are using the information they are getting in a positive way. The information is being passed on to specific teams that can deal with them in a better way, and arrests and prosecutions are being made where possible.

With 1225 reports made with RoadSafe in nearly a year and 659 letters sent out to the registered keepers and/or companies. Your complaint has a 1 in 2 chance of having some action being taken place. A letter might not do much, but it should be kept on record against the vehicle that they have been contacted about their driving in the past.

More than 40% of the reports are about cycling ‘near miss’ this just shows that a vast majority of the users of it are cyclists. And I know that most of the London helmet camera users will report the worst stuff they see to RoadSafe, So I expect a vast majority of those 530 cycling near misses will be accompanied by video evidence.
With lots of video evidence going to the police with regards to issues that we cyclists face on a daily basis, one can only hope that they listen and help to do something about it.
Clearly we are going a step in the right direction as the cycling task force has been launched and they are tackling various issues across London by bicycle.

The only bad thing to pick up from this information is the fact that the traffic to the webpage is quite low. I still haven’t seen any advertising about this form, and I only found out due to word of mouth from other cyclists.
I recall from when I met the officers that run the website, they said something about a soft launch first of all and then going public later. An extended testing period?

4 thoughts on “The ‘Efficacy’ of RoadSafe Website

  1. Gaz,

    This was me – prompted by reading Martin Porter’s comments on other police forces’ use of similar sites. After reading it, I was left wondering whether they collected data, which they clearly do. Would be nice to see further info on outcomes (successful prosecutions, etc.) but I was generally pleased with how quickly they responded.


    Tim. (@lucullus on Twitter)

    (Re-post, btw – I think my browser lost an earlier comment!)

    1. How I didn’t make the link between your name and your twitter account I don’t know!
      I breifly skimmed through Martin’s post but it looked like a repeat to what i’ve seen voiced by other people.
      It will be intresting to see how they do in the future with this and what the stats will show.

  2. Its seems very low key. I only found out about it from cycling websites. Also I’d worry that nothing would happen unless you had video of the incident.

    I’ve submitted two forms to them (with video). First one I never heard anything more, the second one the driver appeared on the youtube clip to complain that the driving wasn’t dangerous ( So at least she got a letter, although she claims the Met told her she did nothing wrong!

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