With just days to go to the general election, road safety groups are driving home their wishes to the potential new administrations.

Road safety targets, potholes, Graduated Driver Licensing, 20 mph zones, low emissions areas, fuel prices, etc.

There are plenty of demands on the table.


The RAC highlights six key priorities for the incoming government that would ‘improve the lives of the country’s 40m drivers’.

Its calls to action are backed by the company’s ongoing analysis of data and driver research.

This includes conclusions from its annual ‘Report on Motoring’.

They believe the report provides an ‘unrivalled view’ of motorists’ concerns and behaviours on the road since 1989.

The RAC’s six priorities for the next government are better local roads, fairer fuel prices, a road safety reset, reducing the motor insurance tax burden, supporting the transition to EVs, and ensuring civil motoring offences are enforced fairly.

RAC calls

  • Give road safety the attention and resources it deserves by reintroducing formal road casualty reduction targets, which were scrapped in 2010
  • Convert all-lane running stretches of smart motorway to either controlled motorways, with hard shoulders permanently restored, or to dynamic hard shoulder schemes – where a hard shoulder is in place for much of the day and night.
  • Launch a consultation on introducing a Graduated Driving Licensing (GDL) scheme to keep new drivers safe.
  • Follow through with the previous government’s commitment to fund independent research into the problems of headlight glare. 
  • Work with police forces and road safety organisations to introduce a crackdown on drivers who speed excessively

Congestion forecast

Simon Williams, RAC head of policy, said: “From potholes to pump prices, and from private parking operators to public EV charging, there was always going to be a lot sitting in the new government’s in-tray come July 4th.

“If our six key priorities, all of which are supported by data and research with drivers, are implemented over the course of the next parliamentary term they will bring meaningful benefits for road users up and down the country.

“We’ll be using this list to evaluate each of the main party’s election manifestos as they’re launched this week and hope that ministers-to-be do indeed ‘deliver for drivers’ by taking heed of their most pressing concerns, not least those connected to the high cost of living.”

Remembering the victims

Meanwhile, hundreds of people have already signed an open letter to the incoming government.

This calls for the introduction of graduated driver licensing (GDL) within the first 100 days of the next Parliament.

RoadPeace produced the letter in conjunction with the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).

Decades of road casualty data show that young and inexperienced drivers are at a far greater risk of being killed or injured in a road crash than any other age group.

They are involved in 24% of all collisions resulting in death or serious injury in Great Britain despite representing only 7% of the driving population.

In 2022, 4,935 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes in Great Britain involving at least one young driver.

Limiting harm, gaining experience

GDL is a system designed to help new drivers gain experience and skills gradually over time in low-risk environments.

It has been a great success in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and parts of the US.

RoadPeace says it gives novice young drivers the time and space they need to become safe and competent drivers.

The minor restrictions allow these drivers to build up experience driving within safer environments with less distraction.

Recommendations include:

  • A minimum learning period of at least six months
  • A minimum number of hours of practice of at least 50-60 hours

Post-test Changes should include:

  • Drivers under 21 unable to carry peer-aged passengers for the first six months
  • Drivers under 21 unable to drive between midnight and 4am for the first six months

Time for change

GDL has been heavily featured in the media recently, and most road safety professionals back various forms of the scheme.

Earlier this year, RoadPeace supported the launch of the Forget-me-not Families Uniting group, which has now grown to include more than 110 bereaved parents, all campaigning for GDL.

The group was launched on BBC Breakfast television in April 2024 and was covered on the programme again in June.

Dr Ian Greenwood and Shaun Helman (TRL) passionately promoted the scheme at this year’s Young Driver Focus conference.