IAM RoadSmart is calling for politicians to put post-test training and human behaviour at the heart of the road safety debate in the next Parliament.
The road safety charity has put together its own seven-point manifesto to ensure road safety and saving lives returns to the top of the political agenda.
More than four people were killed on UK roads every day in 2018 (1,784 in total), a number that has barely changed for the last seven years.
Now IAM RoadSmart is calling for the road safety focus to be put onto young drivers (who remain the biggest at-risk group for serious and fatal crashes), a more comprehensive plan for managing an older population and the need to keep them mobile, refresher courses to ensure drivers’ skills remain at a high standard, and a stronger commitment to rehabilitation courses for driving offenders which have been shown to positively change behaviour.
It is calling for the Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) to bring the safety of those who drive for work higher up their priority list and for greater thought to be put into the legislation on driverless cars as we enter a whole new era of mobility, and a bigger push towards safer motorcycling as a solution to increasing vehicular congestion.
Mike Quinton (pictured), 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.”
IAM RoadSmart’s full manifesto is as follows:
- Young/New Drivers - We support graduated driver licensing for new drivers based around a 12-month minimum learning period plus extra training interventions in the first year of solo driving.
- Older Drivers – A demographic time bomb is ticking and IAM RoadSmart believe we need an open debate on the best way to maintain safe mobility in old age. Initially we want to see the driving licence renewal age raised to 75 with an eye test. GPs should be able to prescribe a driving assessment and in time this could become the basis for compulsory retesting for drivers over 85.
- Driver retesting - IAM RoadSmart believe that periodic refresher courses have the potential to get road deaths back on a downward trend. Research and pilot schemes are needed to encourage a continuous personal development approach to enhancing driving and riding skills.
- Driver Rehabilitation - IAM RoadSmart know that drink drive rehabilitation courses work and believe that all drivers convicted of drink driving should be sent on one unless they choose to opt out. There is also scope for the use of a wider range of tailored interventions to target specific negative driver and rider behaviours.
- Driving for work - IAM RoadSmart believe road safety at work is a critical health and safety issue that requires much higher priority at the Health and Safety Executive. It should be at the core of good corporate governance and procurement practice in the private and public sector.
- 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. This will help ensure the safe design and operation of future mobility solutions.
- Motorcycling - IAM RoadSmart advanced riding courses must be more widely supported, particularly by public bodies, employers and through schemes such as ‘BikeSafe’. 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.