reporting guidance for
Media reporting of road collisions has the potential to influence how people view their own and other road users’ responsibility for safe day-to-day journeys – and shapes how much care drivers take around each other, and the most vulnerable road users.
Although much reporting on collisions and road crime is good, there is still a significant amount written and broadcast that contributes to a culture that dehumanises those injured and killed on the roads, and perpetuates an acceptance of road danger, and of careless and dangerous driving. Some coverage demonises the most vulnerable on the roads, decrying ‘zombie pedestrians’ or ‘lycra louts’ while railing against speed enforcement for drivers, linguistically turning the provenance of, and responsibility for, road danger on its head.
The draft Road Collision Reporting Guidelines have been produced by the Active Travel Academy in collaboration with representatives from national roads policing, legal, academic and media experts, the National Union of Journalists’ ethics council, RoadPeace, Cycling UK, and has the support of active travel and road safety organisations.