UK motorists downbeat over EU exit – IAM RoadSmart survey finds

Posted on 14/07/16 |

IAM RoadSmart members have a pessimistic view of how the country’s exit from the European Union will affect them as drivers, according to a survey.

The road safety charity conducted a poll of over 1,000 members and visitors to its website between 27 June and 12 July, asking their views of how the  decision by UK voters to leave the EU would affect them as drivers.

Of the 1,093 respondents, when asked if they thought the exit would have an impact on drivers and riders in terms of costs, nearly 50% said prices would rise. In contrast less than 4% said they would fall (reference 1).

In terms of road safety, UK drivers and riders did not feel leaving the EU would change things for the better. Nearly 65% said there would be no difference, while 16% said road safety would deteriorate. Some 11% said road safety would improve (reference 2).

When asked if the UK would have a better influence over other key issues affecting motorists and riders, again they were not convinced leaving the EU would improve the situation.

Slightly over 40% thought there would no change in the UK’s ability to control prices at the fuel pumps as a result of our exit. Again slightly over 40% thought there would be no change in vehicle emissions when we leave (reference 3).

And more than half of those surveyed through there would no change in standards of driver and rider training and testing (reference 4).

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “It appears that UK motorists are not fully convinced that they will benefit from us leaving the EU. At the very best they feel nothing will change, but at worst they think they will lose out.

“Although our survey paints a rather downbeat picture of how UK motorists feel it does give us a strong remit to represent their needs as key Brexit issues are debated in the months ahead. 

“Ensuring that past road safety and air quality gains are maintained will be a key challenge but we can now explore new ideas to regain the downward trend in road deaths and serious injuries on British roads. 

“Ideas such as reduced VAT on safety kit, incentives for training and embedding good road safety practice into procurement rules are all now firmly back on the table. It’s an interesting time to be in road safety.”


Notes to editors:

Reference 1: 49.57% said prices would rise, 3.81% said prices would fall, 37.77% said there wouldn’t be any difference

Reference 2: 64.86% said there would be no difference, 16.19% said safety would deteriorate, 11.62% said road safety would improve

Reference 3: 41.62% said there would be no change in our ability to control prices at the fuel pumps, 30.76% said we would be less able, 20.57% said we would be more able

Reference 4: 52.19% said there would be no change in the improvement of standards of driver and rider training and testing.  13.81% said we would be less able to improve standards, 27.05% said we would be more able

IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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