Ministers propose Road Collision Investigation Branch after RACF trial28 Oct 2021

Consultation launched after RAC Foundation-led trial

A new body to investigate and learn lessons from road collisions is a step closer to being established following a pilot scheme involving the RAC Foundation, the government has announced.

A Road Collision Investigation Branch (RCIB) would operate in a similar fashion to independent organisations that already exist in the aviation, rail and maritime sectors.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a consultation on proposals to set up an RCIB which would “carry out thematic investigations and probe specific incidents of concern to establish the causes of collisions and make independent safety recommendations to help further improve road safety across the country.”

As part of its remit the new body could investigate collisions associated with emerging technologies such as driverless cars and electric vehicles.

The RAC Foundation has previously proposed an RCIB and since June 2018 has been involved in a half a million pounds trial with the help of three police forces.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“After excellent progress across many years, sustained road safety improvement has been hard to achieve over the past decade, both in the UK and further afield.

“We should be challenging ourselves on whether we are understanding all we can about the causes of road collisions and what could be done to prevent them – our research to date suggests that more could be learnt – which is why today’s consultation is so important and so welcome.”

The roads minister Baroness Vere said:

“The UK’s roads are among the safest in the world but we’re always looking at ways to make them even safer.

“A new investigation branch would play a huge role in this work by identifying the underlying causes of road traffic collisions so we can take action to prevent them from happening again.

“It would also provide us with vital insight as we continue to modernise our road network to ensure better, greener and safer journeys.”

The consultation will run until 9 December.

According to the DfT, “Independent bodies are longstanding features of accident investigation practice in the UK. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has been operating since 1915, while the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) have operated since 1989 and 2005, respectively.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

07711 776448 | [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: