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government must do more on road safety

The Department for Transport has announced plans for a refreshed road safety statement, with a two-year action plan to address four priority user groups – young people, rural road users, motorcyclists and older vulnerable users. This comes alongside publication of a progress report on the 2015 road safety statement and the announcement of the successful bids for the Safer Roads Fund.

After praising the government’s recent raft of road safety announcements – which “showed it was taking the UK’s stalled progress in road safety seriously” – Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “Progress has undoubtedly been made on the road safety actions laid out by the government in 2015. However, we urge that the new road safety statement be much, much bolder in its ambition.

“The government’s focus on the young and elderly, rural roads and motorcyclists is welcome but the fact is we already have proven policy solutions to many of these challenges. Young driver crashes will be significantly reduced by introducing a graduated driver licensing system. The elderly’s fitness to drive can be monitored through improved communication between doctors and the DVLA and compulsory eyesight tests. And speed limits on rural roads are far too high and must be reduced. We urge the Government to introduce these proven policies as a matter of urgency, ensuring that needless and preventable deaths on our roads are eliminated.

“The government’s move to improve road collision investigation is long-awaited and much welcomed. However, it is vital that strengthened roads collision investigation provides evidence which actually influences policy change. Data for the sake of data is no use, it must lead to improvements in policy. We owe it to the thousands of people who are affected by the tragedy of road death every year to ensure that their loved one’s deaths have not been in vain and that we learn from the mistakes of the past.”



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