Road safety charities including Brake have welcomed the opening of a public consultation into how police investigate road deaths.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has set up the consultation (open until 7 September at which will focus on police standards when responding, reporting and investigating, road traffic collisions and will influence an agreed policy and guidance followed by police and fire & rescue services.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend, said: "We welcome this review of the Road Death Investigation Manual, and look forward to continuing to work with police to prevent crashes and support families whose lives are turned upside down by these tragic events.

"It is critical these families get the help they need, and that we learn from collisions to prevent further tragedies; police work liaising with victims and investigating crashes is fundamental to this. We are proud to work with every force in the country to support road crash victims, and pleased to have this opportunity to develop that work further."

Reported road deaths have reduced from about 5,500 a year in the mid 1980s to fewer than 2,000 last year and over the same period, reported road casualties have decreased from 240,000 to just over 200,000.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, ACPO lead for the investigation of fatal and life changing road collisions across England and Wales, said: "The police service is committed to preventing and reducing the loss of life or serious injury on our roads.

"Families quite rightly expect their police service to prevent and reduce these collisions from occurring and in the unexpected event that it impacts upon them they are entitled to the best service and support to aid them through such difficult time.

"We are committed to listening to their experiences and views as well as those of partner agencies, and to updating and amending our policy and practices to keep pace with and, where possible, exceed expectations."

At the end of the review a draft, revised road death investigation strategy and guidance will be published that will aim to provide direction for the next five years.

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Posted 20/08/2012 by - a version of this article first appeared on our sister site