A statement from IAM RoadSmart CEO, Antony Kildare

Posted on 08/09/22 |

Tony KildareIAM RoadSmart welcomes the appointment of the Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP into her new role as Transport Minister. We also urge that she takes strong, immediate action needed to get the UK back on track as a world leader for road safety. 

There has been a decade of stagnation in road death numbers, so expectations were high in the road safety community that real progress could be made this year. So far important decisions have been delayed yet again, leading to a vacuum in road safety leadership and strategy from the previous government.

We are calling for the new Minister to deliver on this as soon as possible to allow us to return to a decline in road deaths. 

The UK is waiting for new legislation affecting road safety, and we believe that the new Secretary of State needs to bring forward these announcements to give clarity on the UK's road safety future, focusing on critical issues such as: 

  • Older Drivers

We are sitting on a demographic time bomb and a clear strategy for older drivers is long overdue from government. Innovative IAM RoadSmart ideas, such as making older driver assessments available on prescription and raising the age for licence renewal to 75 but including an eye test as part of the process, must be a part of this debate.

  • Driving for Work

With one in three deaths on our roads involving someone driving in the course of work, the time is right for much stronger powers for the HSE and real incentives for best practice in fleet management. Any company that doesn’t have a road safety policy in place shouldn’t be allowed to bid for public procurement contracts.

  • E-scooter regulation

While we welcome innovation, transport changes and trends are happening faster than the network is developing to accommodate them. Mixing unregulated e-scooters with pedestrians and motorised traffic is potentially deadly and requires urgent legislation to ensure the safety of all road users.   

  • Self-driving and other new car technology 

 We support the intention to make the UK a world leader in driverless technology, but there is a critical need to train drivers in the new skills they will need to safely control increasingly autonomous cars. Research shows clearly that drivers who know what to expect if an autonomous car suddenly hands back control are better able to deal with the situation calmly and safely. It is vital that the government works with the DVSA and training providers, such as IAM RoadSmart, to develop new resources to educate drivers.

  • Drug driving

The need to cut reoffending is paramount to ensure the safety of all road users, and research shows that those who take a Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course are less likely to offend again. That is why IAM RoadSmart want to see everyone caught drinking and driving automatically sent on a course. We are also ready to work with government to develop a bespoke drug driving course that will have the same impact.

  • Motorcycle strategy

Investment in motorcycle safety has not had the same priority as other modes of transport, and although the DfT consultation on motorcycle decarbonisation has yet to close, we are calling for government to rethink proposals for arbitrary UK-only target dates for phasing out new petrol motorcycle production.

As the UK's leading independent road safety charity, we have a vision of a society where all road users can safely and sustainably use the public highways’ together resulting in zero deaths, so we welcome the opportunity to meet with the Minister and share our ideas on how the UK can act now to become a world leader once again. 

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