A statement from IAM RoadSmart CEO, Antony Kildare:
It was just last month that we issued a statement to the, then new, Secretary of State for Transport Anne Marie Trevelyan MP, calling on her to take immediate action to get the UK back on track as a world leader for road safety.
Amid yet another cabinet reshuffle, we are welcoming a new transport minister to the role, Mark Harper MP. We’d like to reiterate our plea to Mark by urging him to waste no time in delivering much needed clarity on the government’s road safety strategy, focusing on critical issues such as:
Driver and rider training
Graduated driver licensing and incentives to improve skills are needed to reduce the risks for vulnerable road users on our busy roads.
While we welcome innovation, the adoption of e-scooters is occurring faster than the network is developing to accommodate them. Mixing unregulated e-scooters with pedestrians and motorised traffic has proven to be deadly and requires urgent legislation to ensure the safety of all road users.
Self-driving and other new car technology
There is a critical need to start training drivers in the new skills they need to safely control increasingly autonomous vehicles. It is vital that the government works with the DVSA and training providers, such as IAM RoadSmart, to develop new resources to educate drivers.
We are sitting on a demographic time bomb and a clear strategy for older drivers is long overdue from government. Raising the age of licence renewal to 75 but including an eye test as part of the process and making older driver assessments available on prescription must be 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 (Health and Safety Executive) and real incentives for best practice in fleet management.
Drug and drink driving
A decision on a new course for drug drive offenders is now overdue. Those who take a Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course are less likely to offend again, and that is why we want to see anyone caught drug or drink driving automatically sent on a course.
Investment in motorcycle safety has not had the same priority as other modes of transport and clear direction from government is vital. We are calling for government to rethink proposals for arbitrary UK-only target dates for phasing out new petrol driven motorbikes to allow them to play their full part in reducing congestion.
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. We believe that by working in partnership with the new government Britain will make great strides in moving closer to this shared vision.