Road safety must ‘return to the top of the political agenda’: IAM Roadsmart

09.05 | 8 November 2019 | | 3 comments

IAM RoadSmart has become the latest stakeholder to publish a General Election manifesto, urging the next Government to put post-test training and human behaviour at the heart of the road safety debate.

Published on 6 November, the seven-point manifesto aims to ensure road safety and saving lives ‘returns to the top of the political agenda’.

The manifesto calls for greater focus to be placed on young drivers, who ‘remain the biggest at-risk group for serious and fatal crashes’.

It expresses IAM RoadSmart’s support for graduated driver licensing, based around a 12-month minimum learning period – plus extra training interventions in the first year of solo driving.

At the other end of the driving spectrum, IAM RoadSmart says a ‘demographic time bomb is ticking’ and is urging an open debate on the best way to maintain safe mobility in old age.  

The charity says the driving licence renewal age should be raised to 75 years and also include an eye test. Meanwhile, GPs should be able to prescribe a driving assessment.

In terms of training, IAM RoadSmart believes periodic refresher courses have the potential to ‘get road deaths back on a downward trend’. 

It is calling for research and pilot schemes to ‘encourage a continuous personal development approach to enhancing driving and riding skills’.

Other elements of the manifesto include:

  • Driving for work – IAM RoadSmart believes road safety at work is a critical health and safety issue that requires much higher priority at the Health and Safety Executive. 
  • 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.
  • Motorcycling – IAM RoadSmart advanced riding courses must be more widely supported. 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. 

Mike Quinton, 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.”

Earlier this week the active travel charity Sustrans launched its manifesto, which calls on all political parties to take ‘bold action’ on road transport emissions and prioritise walking and cycling.



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    I agree with all Derek Cozens says except for the bit about e-training. The results of e-training will only give what the driver thinks that the answer should be and not change his/her attitude. Practical on road training and re-assessment is the only way, I believe, to re-educate a driver and check that the message has been understood and acted upon. I am a member of RoSPA Advanced Drivers as that involves a 3 year max cycle of re-assessment.

    Derek C Donald, Inverness
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    I think the authorities do enough – it’s a proportion of the road users themselves, particularly the wheeled ones, who can’t – or won’t – be bothered to make the effort to do it properly and keep the roads safe.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (4) | Disagree (5)

    There is a real need to have post test safety training to inform and influence drivers behaviour. You can drive on the road for 50 years and never have any post test training unless you commit an offence. It is time to introduce e-training for all drivers at regular intervals throughout their lifetime on the roads. Adverts on Kiss FM or on the back of buses is no way to inform all drivers of important changes such as Smart motorways Red X lane closures and refuges. The biggest failure with road safety is that we expect the government to be in charge. It is time that an organisation was given responsibility so that their would be accountability and leadership. The ORR (Office of Rail and Road) May fit the bill. What is missing is the methodical processes of risk management that have driven workplace safety. Our roads are being engineered to 50 year old regulations like a listed building and people are continuing to die in the same accidents because we do not have the mechanism in place to learn from them and apply changes across the road network. The road authorities should be responsible for managing safety not for writing their own policies. Too many people are fiddling with paperwork graphs and spreadsheets and failing to deliver safety on the ground. We seem to have gone to war with the motorists instead of engaging them in the safety process. Every accident is viewed from the blame perspective and we have failed to put in place the safety guards to prevent them from happening in the first place. Harry Dunn was killed and only afterward was the road marked to show which side to drive on. We need a proactive not a reactive road safety management regime in place

    Derek Cozens, Hertfordshire
    Agree (7) | Disagree (1)

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