Road safety must ‘return to the top of the political agenda’: IAM Roadsmart
IAM RoadSmart has become the latest stakeholder to publish a General Election manifesto, urging the next Government to put post-test training and human behaviour at the heart of the road safety debate
Published on 6 November, the seven-point manifesto aims to ensure road safety and saving lives ‘returns to the top of the political agenda’.
The manifesto calls for greater focus to be placed on young drivers, who ‘remain the biggest at-risk group for serious and fatal crashes’.
It expresses IAM RoadSmart’s support for graduated driver licensing, based around a 12-month minimum learning period – plus extra training interventions in the first year of solo driving.
At the other end of the driving spectrum, IAM RoadSmart says a ‘demographic time bomb is ticking’ and is urging an open debate on the best way to maintain safe mobility in old age.
The charity says the driving licence renewal age should be raised to 75 years and also include an eye test. Meanwhile, GPs should be able to prescribe a driving assessment.
In terms of training, IAM RoadSmart believes periodic refresher courses have the potential to ‘get road deaths back on a downward trend’.
It is calling for research and pilot schemes to ‘encourage a continuous personal development approach to enhancing driving and riding skills’.
Other elements of the manifesto include:
- Driving for work – IAM RoadSmart believes road safety at work is a critical health and safety issue that requires much higher priority at the Health and Safety Executive.
- Driverless cars – distraction from new technology and the training challenges from the switch to autonomous and connected vehicles, must be a top research and legislative priority area.
- Motorcycling – IAM RoadSmart advanced riding courses must be more widely supported. Safer riding, and positive measures such as allowing motorcycles in all bus lanes, will allow powered two wheelers to fulfil their promise as a solution to our congestion and pollution problems.
Mike Quinton, IAM RoadSmart’s chief executive officer, said: “The UK has one of the best road safety records in Europe, but still 1,784 people a year are killed.
“We believe by working together with government and the road safety ‘industry’ we can deliver a step change in road safety and significantly reduce the fatalities and injuries which occur daily on our roads.
“We will be writing to politicians to highlight our manifesto priorities and urging them to be instrumental in the road safety debate when the new Government is formed.”
Earlier this week the active travel charity Sustrans launched its manifesto, which calls on all political parties to take ‘bold action’ on road transport emissions and prioritise walking and cycling.
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