DVSA publishes five-year strategy to improve road safety

12.00 | 31 March 2017 | | 3 comments

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published a five-year strategy, outlining the steps it will take to keep drivers safe on the roads of Great Britain.

Published yesterday (30 March), the DVSA strategy covers three key themes: ‘helping you through a lifetime of safe driving’; ‘helping you keep your vehicle safe to drive’; and ‘protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles’.

The DVSA says that by the end of this year it will have developed detailed plans for each of these themes, including how it will measure success in each area.

In terms of learning to drive, the strategy explains how DVSA will ensure new drivers are better prepared through improved access to guidance, advice and training.

As an example, the DVSA will send personalised advice to learner drivers based on the faults they made during their driving test. Both learner and newly qualified drivers will also be taught how to make the most of new vehicle features.

DVSA will also explore opportunities to further develop driver training and testing by utilising relevant technologies, such as virtual reality, while driving tests will be updated to keep abreast of new vehicle technology.

Turning to vehicle safety, the DVSA aims to ensure drivers know where and when they can get their vehicle tested – and what checks should be carried out all-year-round.

To better meet the needs of those responsible for testing vehicles, the DVSA will make it easier for them to access up-to-date standards, guidance and information, and encourage them to take training and obtain qualifications to improve their skills.

The strategy also outlines how DVSA will ensure all vehicles are tested to the same high standard, by closing down persistently poorly performing test centres.

In the final section of the strategy report, DVSA says it will prevent dangerous and high-risk operators and drivers from using Great Britain’s roads, and make sure it is financially better to follow the rules rather than break them.

In the foreword, Andrew Jones, road safety minister, said: “We should be proud of Great Britain’s strong road safety record. In 2015, road casualties were the second lowest on record.

“However, we need to plan for the future. As technology improves, vehicles will become more capable of driving themselves. We need to make sure driver training and testing keeps up, and the MOT adapts to be able to test vehicles that rely more and more on software.”


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    If the really want to keep our roads safer then may I suggest that they concentrate one project on not just the offence or danger of tailgasting as we know it but the giving of safe following on or braking distance for all drivers. Perhaps starting with the law breaking HGVs and concentrate on the grey area of the high risk operators and drivers of all commercial vehicles.

    Any Advanced trained person will appreciate the benefits of the giving of space between vehicles. It’s by far the safest place to be when they say the safest place to be is at the front of the queue. What they mean is you do not have to overtake all the vehicles in front at all times to be at the front of a queue. If overtaking would mean breaking the law by speeding, dont overtake, just drop back to a safe following on distance and follow and make your own lead space. Simple and safer than an inappropriate overtake.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    It looks to me like a lot of rhetoric and little substance again. For a start, of this 5 year plan one year will be tied up in putting some meat on the bones and deciding what’s going to be the priorities and then what actions or interventions are going to be made.

    I wonder just what they intend to do in paragraph 9 which already specifically identifies dangerous and high risk operators and drivers and will make sure that it is financially better to follow the rules rather than break them.

    Seeing as the DVSA have the ultimate and overall responsibility for the training of drivers perhaps they can take a new look at some the advice that they have obviously adopted and defend from the Police Riders and Drivers Manuals.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    What a let-down this document is. Nothing on post test training, nothing on eyesight or other fitness to drive issues, nothing on helping the public decide what safety features to purchase. I could go on but will sign-off with a heavy heart and a conclusion that there is simply no real evidence-based plan to reduce casualties.

    Pete, Liverpool
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