IAM RoadSmart issues 12-point manifesto

IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, has launched its own manifesto calling on all road safety professionals with one simple message: ‘Work together to reduce the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the UK’s roads.’

In its manifesto, IAM RoadSmart urges legislators, car makers, social media and smartphone companies to work with road users on practical solutions to address driver distraction, especially smartphone usage and interactive dashboard information availability.

IAM RoadSmart has put together its own 12-point manifesto to drive down the number of people killed and seriously injured on UK roads, which in 2015 was 1,730 and showing little reduction from the previous four years.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said, ‘The UK has one of the best road safety records in Europe, but still 1,730 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.’

Its full manifesto says that partnership is the best way to get accident figures heading downwards again and with widespread support the ‘Road Safety Industry Consortium’ can help reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.

It also states that driver distraction is now a top priority safety issue and that legislators, car makers, social media and smartphone companies must work with road users on practical solutions.

The manifesto also calls for more research on the transition to driverless cars and on the education and training challenges their introduction will bring, while supporting too raising the licence renewal age to 75 with a compulsory eye test. Family doctors should be encouraged to ‘prescribe’ driving reviews for older drivers.

IAM RoadSmart also believes road safety at work is a critical health and safety issue that requires higher priority at the Health and Safety Executive, and that Defra should implement cross-government procurement rules which accelerates the uptake of safe new vehicles with features such as autonomous braking. Public and private sector companies should only issue contracts to firms with driver risk management policies in place.

It is also promoting motorcycling as a safe mode of transport that can help solve congestion and pollution problems, supports a 12-month minimum learning period for new drivers, and insists that a reduction in the drink-drive limit in England and Wales will save lives.

IAM RoadSmart further encourages all highway authorities to aim towards a minimum ‘three star’ risk rating on their ‘A’ roads, wants local councils and central government to protect long-term funding that will eradicate the road maintenance backlog, and wants a Brexit deal that maintains the UK’s exemplary road safety record and does not add additional burdens to drivers and riders visiting the EU.