Road Safety Action Plan: stakeholder reaction

10.38 | 19 July 2019 | | 3 comments

Image: Highways England

While the vast majority of stakeholders have reacted positively to the Government’s new Road Safety Action Plan, IAM RoadSmart has described it as ‘a disappointing mixed bag’.

Published on 19 July, the highly-anticipated plan sets out 74 actions the Government is considering to reduce the number of people killed and injured on the roads.

One of the key areas is seat belt safety – with plans for penalty points as well as fines for those caught committing the offence.

The plan also includes details of a variety of initiatives which have received funding – including £200,000 awarded to Road Safety GB to be used (in part) to carry out research into the effectiveness of classroom based road safety education.

Stakeholder praise – research and innovation
Road Safety GB has welcomed the new investment, and in particular the plan’s focus on research.

Alan Kennedy, executive director of Road Safety GB, said: “Road Safety GB welcomes the Government’s action plan for road safety, which also sets out a number of proposals for research.

“We are particularly pleased to see Government investment in road safety as it enables much needed activity in important areas of casualty reduction.

“We look forward to seeing the results of those research programmes and will be keen to see how the research can be translated into programmes of delivery that will have the most impact.”

Road safety charity Brake says it is ‘great to see so many innovative projects’ receive funding.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “A renewed national focus on road safety is long overdue.

 “It’s great to see so many innovative projects in the road safety action plan, demonstrating a clear commitment from the Government, but while there are still deaths and serious injuries on our roads we can always do more. 

“We must strive for vision zero and the elimination of road death and serious injury – we would never accept such carnage in rail or aviation so why should we for roads?”

Meanwhile the RAC has praised the Government for recognising the ‘different challenges drivers contend with throughout their driving careers’.

However, it goes on to stress the importance of proper enforcement.

Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of roads policy, said: “Of course it is right to crack down on those that do not wear a seatbelt and we welcome tougher penalties which will encourage some to belt up behind the wheel. 

“But this alone won’t be enough to make the roads safer. A number of those who choose not to buckle up are also likely to be those that flout other road traffic laws. 

“This reinforces the importance of enforcement and we fear some drivers will persist without the genuine threat of being caught and prosecuted for not wearing a seatbelt.”

Does the plan go far enough?
However, IAM RoadSmart describes the plan as ‘a disappointing mixed bag’ which doesn’t go far enough – citing a ‘worrying lack of detail’ on younger drivers, older drivers and motorcyclists.

The charity says the commitment to some form of graduated driving licence is welcome – but the lack of any timetable for implementation is worrying.

Mike Quinton, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “With young men under 25 being the biggest at-risk group when it comes to serious and fatal crashes and drink-driving, the promise of ‘more research’ is simply not enough.”

On motorcyclists, Mr Quinton added: “What is totally missing is any reference to motorcycling despite this being one of the four key areas that the statement was supposed to address.  

“As a minimum we had hoped that the unique road design needs of bikers, access to all bus lanes for motorbikes and encouragement of skill refresher schemes such as those produced by IAM RoadSmart and BikeSafe, would have been announced.”



Comment on this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report a reader comment

Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    Still a lot to take in but my initial response is that the DfT have missed numerous opportunities to effect real change, particularly with regards to motorcycling and older (‘Third Age’?!) drivers.
    One of the statements early on in the plan is ‘We can no longer keep doing the same things in the same way if we want to improve’, yet the action plans include more digital resources that few people look at, more resources for already overloaded teachers, and more research that will just tell what we already knew already!

    Keith Wheeler, Bucks
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    “Summary of actions for urban roads

    64 Evaluate the findings from the review on the laws on pavement parking”

    Was that it?

    I also note no mention of Intelligent Speed Assistance. In fact the word “intelligent” does not appear at all in the plan.

    But do not worry, I do see that the new “Small mammal” warning sign gets a mention and even a picture. I can only presume that the outgoing minister heard from the residents of Box Hill regarding “mamils” in the road and mistakenly sprang into action to protect the hedgehogs.

    Rod King, Lymm
    Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

    ‘More research’ is mentioned more than once, however it is no substitute for common sense and accepting the blindingly obvious.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (4)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.