What is the point of being an advocate for change if it is being done behind closed doors? Sometimes you have to be direct and send your message out far and wide to make it succeed. And since our aim is so critical - to help drive down the number of people killed or serious injured on UK roads - this is exactly what IAM RoadSmart is aiming to achieve with our recently published manifesto.
On Tuesday 30 May we launched our 12 point manifesto calling on all road safety professionals and policy makers with one simple message: Let’s work together to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on UK roads.
And while our communication was issued in the run up to the General Election it is an apolitical agenda that is independent of any party political stance. It is a simple, public plea to all leaders and officials – current or future – to keep road safety as a key area of focus and to do all that they can, with our and other stakeholders’ help, to make UK roads safer.
To bring this point home, remember that in 2015 no fewer than 1,732 people lost their lives on UK roads. With another 22,137 suffering serious injury.
These are shockingly and tragically high figures which needs to be urgently lowered. And while there was a slight decrease of 2% on the previous year’s fatalities, this small percentage is in no way sufficient. There is still so much more to be done if we are, collectively, to have any real positive impact.
All of us at IAM RoadSmart will therefore continue to do all we can to work with fellow road safety organisations, government, manufacturers and other influential bodies to ensure that we keep our core message at the forefront of their thinking – that the safety of drivers, passengers and other road users is paramount and should be central to every decision made.
One practical, positive step we have taken as an organisation to help towards this is to roll forward with the development and delivery of our driver training programmes aimed at ensuring UK drivers and riders stay confident and capable on the roads. With a blend of new and old, modules and skills days, and through the recently launched offer of free driver taster sessions to match the already popular riding package, we are spreading the message of effective driving and riding as far and wide as we can.
But we cannot realistically bring about the full change on our own. So we continue to call on our road safety colleagues, on motoring and riding enthusiasts across the country, on the media and policy makers to actively work together to secure a step change in road safety and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on UK roads.
Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer