The Road Safety Action Plan follows on from a number of projects outlined within the 2015 Road safety Statement, which included increased enforcements for drug driving and increased penalties for using a mobile phone whilst driving.
The idea behind the plan is self-explanatory and one of the biggest initiatives is to increase penalty points for those not wearing seatbelt s whilst travelling. Figures form 2017 showed how 27% of road deaths were caused by people not wearing seatbelts and not properly secured within the car. Currently, those not wearing seatbelts are given an on the spot fine of £100.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but we are not complacent and continue to look at how we can make them safer.
“Today’s action plan is a key milestone in our road safety work and sets out the important steps we are taking to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.”
Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis said: “Far too many people are not wearing a seatbelt while travelling in a car, needlessly putting their lives at risk.
“Increasing penalties for people who disregard the simplest of way of protecting themselves is just one of a long list of actions this government is taking to help keep people safe on our roads.”
The plan is designed to improve road safety for all ages of road user, from the very young to the older driver.
- A £225,000 grant has been awarded for a nationally accredited safety training program for retailers to help with parents when fitting child seats into a car. This comes are 70% of parent drivers admitted they had difficulty in fitting their child seat.
- Research is to be commissioned into the effects of young people as pedestrians using handheld devices in road traffic situations.
- Funding for research to help children with special needs and cognitive disabilities to support road safety.
For Young Adults
- To encourage learner drivers to broaden their experience by using country lanes and night driving.
- Research to determine the effectiveness of graduated driving licensing based on road safety.
- The continual reinforcement of road safety messages surrounding drink driving, mobile phones, drug driving and passenger distractions.
- Investigations into the use of alcohol-lock devices to measure the alcohol level in a driver’s breath before allowing the car to start.
- An increased focus on roads policing in conjunction with the Home Office and the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
For Older Drivers
- An award of £50,000 for a digital platform to share data on how best to reduce road safety risks for older people.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: “Graduated driver licensing (GDL) adds that all-important intermediate element between learner and full licence holder, and allows new drivers to build up their skills and experience over a period of time, using clearly-marked stages.
“Where versions of GDL are already in place, the reduction in young and novice driver collisions has been remarkable. For example, research from TRL shows that 16-year-old drivers in the USA who learnt to drive through GDL systems 15 years ago had 37 per cent fewer crashes than those who followed other systems.
“Elsewhere, following the introduction of GDL in New Zealand, injuries from road traffic collisions reduced by almost a quarter for 15- to 19-year olds.
“GEM believes a graduated driver licensing system should be implemented across the UK without delay and should include the following key components:
- a minimum learning period of 12 months before taking a practical test
- drivers should hold ‘novice’ status for two years after passing the test
- a ban on novice drivers carrying passengers aged under 25
- a night-time driving curfew, unless driving to or from work
- automatic disqualification for any driving offence”
Mike Brockman, the former CEO and founder of insurethebox who says: “Limits on passengers is a good idea but night-time curfews kill. If you put young drivers under time pressure to get off the road by a certain time, the high probability is that they will speed and we know the consequences of speeding. Or they end up stranded, unable to drive to get home. These proposals are poorly considered, discriminatory and impractical. Not all young drivers behave the same way, there are major differences in behaviour between male and female drivers yet these changes could be wholesale.
“We know that telematics insurance works in supporting young driver safety and can indeed work for all drivers. The UK Government needs to take a closer look at road casualty figures. The road casualty figures show casualties amongst the youngest motorists have fallen by 35% compared to 16% for more experienced drivers since 2011. And that can largely be attributed to telematics insurance.
“At the root of these proposals is a lack of understanding of what technology can do and has done to protect young drivers. We would welcome the Government to engage with the insurance sector and technology providers to understand what the industry has learnt about young drivers and what motivates them to modify behaviour rather than resort to these draconian and ill-thought-out measures.”
A further measure being considered through the plan is a ban on trees over ten years of age on buses and coaches.
About Carl Millar
Carl Millar is a highly respected and experienced drink driving solicitor who is the principal of Millars Solicitors.
Carl has been a specialist in road traffic law for many years and represents clients from all walks of life and all over the Country. He is well known for the dogged defending of his clients and robust cross examination of police officers and exert witnesses.
With a wealth of expertise in motoring law Carl is well placed to provide advice over the phone and deal with all road traffic matters in a calm and professional way.
Getting in contact with Carl and Millars Solicitors is really easy. You can call him FREE on 0800 999 5535 or in an emergency you can call on 07732 054827.