Election 2019: charity launches manifesto for road safety

With a General Election on the way, charity IAM RoadSmart has come up with a seven-point road safety manifesto to cut casualties.

IAM Roadsmart election manifesto

With a General Election on the way, there are renewed calls for a government that puts road safety near the top of its priorities.

Safety charity IAM RoadSmart has come up with a manifesto of its own. It details how the number of casualties has scarcely decreased over the past seven years. In 2018 there were, on average, four deaths per day on UK roads (1,784 in total).

IAM RoadSmart says there are seven points that require the government’s focus: young drivers, older drivers, driver re-testing, driver rehabilitation, professional drivers, driverless cars and motorcyclist proficiency.

IAM Roadsmart election manifesto

Graduated licencing for young drivers

For young drivers, the charity wants a 12-month minimum learning and test period, plus a graduated licence system. It also wants younger drivers to be subject to training interventions in the first year after they pass their test.

Re-testing and GP certification for older drivers

Older drivers represent what the charity calls a ‘demographic time bomb’. It wants to debate how best to keep them safe on the road. Eye tests, a doctor’s certification and compulsory retesting for drivers over 85 are on the agenda.

Refresher courses

More comprehensive education and testing is a general theme in this manifesto, for drivers of all ages. IAM RoadSmart thinks periodic refresher courses could get driver deaths back in decline.

Driver rehab

Specific negative driver and rider behaviours should be targeted with rehabilitation courses, the charity says, in the same way drink-drivers are rehabilitated.

IAM Roadsmart election manifesto

Driving for work

A renewed focus on the safety of those who drive for work is mentioned, too. This should be ‘at the core of good corporate governance and procurement practice in the private and public sector’.

Driverless car legislation

Autonomous cars are on the horizon, and present an enormous legislatory challenge. How we transition, and how we use them, needs to be examined soon.

Motorcycling

Motorcyclists are some of the most at-risk motorists. IAM Roadsmart reckons they should be allowed in bus lanes, and there should be wider support for advanced riding courses. 

IAM Roadsmart election manifesto

“The UK has one of the best road safety records in Europe, but still 1,784 people a year are killed,” said Mike Quinton, IAM RoadSmart CEO.

“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 that 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.”

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Ethan Jupp
I'm Content Editor at MR. Road trips music and movies are my vices. Perennially stuck between French hot hatches and Australian muscle cars.

4 COMMENTS

  1. 1.Motorcyclists are allowed to use bus lanes in Sheffield but finding this out is not easy and badly published. Unfortunately it is not UK wide so you might ride on a bus lane (with no motorycle symbol) in SY and do it another town and you get a penalty….stupid or what?

    2. Banning Bluetooth use would be bad for motorcyclists as they often use hands free headsets to communicate with each other, listen to a sat nav instructions or even play music but you would not be able to see if they were making calls, so would have to be banned too.

    3. Why doesn’t the IAM focus on things like smart motorways where there is data to show that they kill people, rather than lab data and hypotheticals?

    4. What proportion of older drivers are responsible for causing accidents? Why not teach them to drive on the nearside of a country lane and not stick to the middle regardless of what is comming the other way?

    • Thanks for your input, John – some excellent points and suggestions… I didn’t know about 1) and, as a part-time biker, fully agree with 2)!

  2. Just to add to J.Mills comments, driving down the middle of country lanes isn’t just confined to older drivers, as a bike rider I frequently get forced to move to the gutter area by inconsiderate motorists who are seemingly oblivious to your presence, or are deluded in thinking they are safer in the middle and a head on collision would cause less damage with its higher closing speed than positioning to the nearside, or idiots that offside on a corner when they can’t get a full view (sacrificing safety for a better view of who you are about to kill coming the other way).

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