Louise Ellman, Chair of the Transport Committee, has accused the Government of “wasting an opportunity” with regard to road safety, according to a BBC News report.
The Transport Committee published a report on road safety earlier this year and Mrs Ellman’s remarks come ahead of the Government’s response to that report, which is due to be published today (26 October).
Mrs Ellman says the Department for Transport (DfT) has failed to show leadership on road safety, and has accused ministers of trying to hide their responsibilities for improving road safety with "generalised talk".
The Transport Committee published its report into road safety in July after the first rise in road deaths for almost a decade. The committee highlighted the fact that road accidents were the main killer among 16-to-24-year-olds and called for more work to keep young drivers and cyclists safe and to improve the design of roads.
Expressing her disappointment with the Government’s response to the committee’s concerns, Mrs Ellman said: "The DfT has wasted an opportunity to demonstrate focus and leadership on road safety.
"Generalised talk about everyone playing their part to bring road casualties down should not be allowed to hide central Government’s responsibilities to keep local authorities, the police, other agencies and the public fully focused on delivering significant and sustained improvements in road safety.
"I am particularly disappointed that the Government hasn’t accepted the committee’s recommendation to initiate an independent review of driver training, especially given the high casualty rate for young drivers.
"We will also be watching closely over the coming months to see if the department provides significant pro-active leadership in other areas of road safety not least that relating to cyclists and motorcyclists.”
In response, the DfT said: "Since the publication of the Strategic Framework for Road Safety last year, the government has continued to focus on its vision of empowering local decision-makers, improving driver training and a more targeted approach to enforcement."