March 21 2013.

A new free online bank of key road safety facts and research has launched today.

The Road Safety Observatory will provide easy access to independent road safety research for both road safety professionals and members of the public. It will cover a wide range of road safety topics, including fitness to drive, drink driving, seatbelts, driver telematics, child restraints in cars and many others.

The research is presented in varying levels of detail (key facts, summary and a full review for each topic) so that the reader can choose how much detail suits their purpose, and is written in a non-academic style. The Observatory also provides links to the hundreds of research reports on which the reviews have been based for those who want to see the original evidence.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: "The launch of The Road Safety Observatory marks an important step in making road safety evidence more accessible and summarises important research into plain English.

"It is the first time that research evidence for different road safety topics has been collected and summarised together in one place. It will help increase knowledge of road safety and the evidence behind road safety measures."

The Department for Transport (DfT) was obligated under the Strategic Framework for Road Safety to produce two web-based tools to enhance the delivery of road safety - The Road Safety Observatory and also The Road Safety Comparison Site - which both launched today.

The Road Safety Comparison Site holds road safety performance data for local highways authorities and puts collision and casualty data into context, setting them against population, traffic levels, road length and authority spend.

Road safety minister Stephen Hammond said: "This new comparison website will give local residents a more accurate picture of their council's performance in reducing road casualties and will allow councils to make more meaningful assessments of the work they are doing to improve road safety.

"If a council is performing particularly well then I want to see them sharing best practice with others so that they can improve and people across the country can benefit.

"In addition, the Road Safety Observatory will be a valuable resource for all those with an interest in road safety by providing a one-stop-shop for road safety research."

The Road Safety Observatory is run by a Programme Board, drawn from various road safety bodies, including The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety (PACTS), Road Safety GB, RoadSafe, the Association of Directors for the Environment, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), the RAC Foundation, the South West Public Health Observatory, The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), and the DfT.

RoSPA has built and will manage the Observatory's website.

Road safety has been a key campaign area for RoSPA, the UK's leading accident prevention charity, during its 96-year history. Successful life-saving projects have included campaigning for drink-drive legislation and making it compulsory to wear seatbelts.

The Observatory website can be found at: