Anne McGuire, MP for Stirling, has been named as Brake’s Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month for her work highlighting the need to improve safety among foreign drivers.
Anne’s call for action came after the death of Andrew McLean, who was killed by a young French driver visiting the UK in September 2010.
Andrew’s family wanted to campaign for the Government to improve safety among foreign drivers, including looking at how they could be stopped from driving on the wrong side of the road.
Anne raised the issue in a parliamentary question in November 2011. Mike Penning, road safety minister, responded that “inexperience of driving on the left” was recorded as a factor in 55 fatal crashes in five years, but specific statistics on driving on the wrong side were unavailable.
In July 2012, Anne secured an adjournment debate in Parliament, where she called for the Government to establish the facts about foreign drivers driving on the wrong side of the road. She also highlighted possible measures, such as appropriate warnings at points of entry and devices fitted to vehicles to warn drivers when they are in the wrong lane.
Mike Penning agreed to meet with Andrew’s family and Anne in October to discuss their campaign further.
Anne McGuire said: “With increasing number of foreign drivers using Britain’s roads, it is important that we know whether there is a major problem. At the moment, we are just not sure.
“I welcome the minister’s frankness in stating that he was surprised at the lack of meaningful statistics. Any lapse of concentration from those who are used to driving on the right hand side of the road can result in tragedy, and we should look at what measures are needed to ensure their safety and that of other drivers and road users.”
For more information contact Brake on 01484 559909.