Two-year plan will protect motorcyclists, young drivers, rural road users and the elderly.
The government has confirmed it will introduce a new two-year action plan to improve safety for the most vulnerable road users.
Roads minister Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, has directed the Department for Transport to draw up a new Road Safety Statement that aims to reduce road casualties among young people, rural road users, motorcyclists and older road users.
Norman said these groups were often ‘overrepresented in road casualty statistics’, and that he wanted drivers ‘to continue to enjoy the mobility that driving offers, but to do so safely’.
The announcement follows the unveiling of a £350,000 investment in new breathalyser equipment for police and a £480,000 partnership with the RAC foundation to improve traffic collision investigation.
The schemes have been welcomed by road safety charity Brake, although the organisation called for more ‘ambition’.
‘The recent raft of road safety announcements is much welcomed and shows that the government is taking the UK’s stalled progress in road safety seriously,’ said Joshua Harris, the charity’s director of campaigns. ‘Progress has undoubtedly been made, however, we urge the new statement to 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. 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.’