Road safety

IAM RoadSmart, a charity dedicated to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads, is involved in lobbying for improvements in road safety standards and leading the road safety debate with central government and within the motoring community. IAM RoadSmart is an advocate for lifelong personal development of driving and riding skills.

Road Safety infographic

IAM RoadSmart analyses multiple issues and viewpoints when considering ways to improve road safety, not least those of its, 92,000 members. Human factors are one of these – how the driver (or rider) interacts with the journey, the vehicle and the external world – as highlighted by the 2016 government report on road casualties: “All accidents have a cause and that cause is often someone making a mistake or exhibiting dangerous or thoughtless road behaviour”.

The 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Culture Index, a study of UK motorists’ attitudes towards driving. The report highlighted that the main areas of concern amongst motorists (who took part in the survey), included: Using a mobile phone whilst driving, aggressive driving and drug driving.

IAM RoadSmart Human Factors

Whilst the UK has seen massive reductions in the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads over the decades, that figure has plateaued at  just over 1,700 in recent years (reported road fatalities were 1,792 in 2016, 1,732 in 2015, 1,775 in 2014 and 1,713 in 2013. Reported serious injuries were 24,101 in 2016, 22,137 in 2015, 22,801 in 2014 and 21,657 in 2013).

Added to this, we are less than two decades away from driverless cars becoming popular on our roads. An important area of consideration is how driverless cars will exist on the roads alongside conventionally driven vehicles. What is certain is that the debate will not disappear as technology plays a bigger role in our motoring lives, and IAM RoadSmart will continue to play a central role in it.

IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “Five years of flat lining road deaths is unacceptable. The huge gains in road safety made in the past now seem a distant memory. The government must show more leadership to really drive down road deaths in the future.”

News

Four of the five worst driving licence penalty point holders not banned, IAM discovers

Posted on 07/01/16 |

Three drivers with more than 40 points on their driving licences are still allowed on the road, according to a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). The enquiry also found that 13 people in Britain currently have 28 or more points on their driving licence, the worst of those amassing 51 points.

In addition, the numbers of drivers with 12 or more points has gone up by 9% in just seven months between March and October 2015 – from 6,884 to 7,517 (reference 1).

While the DVLA does not hold details as to whether all of those individuals were still on the road, it did state that individual courts have the powers to choose not to disqualify a driver.

In its reply to the IAM’s request, the DVLA said: “In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the agency understands that a court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver.

“In the majority of these cases, magistrates may have decided to allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship,” it added.

The location of drivers with 28 points or more across Britain by postcode district is as follows:

Four of the five worst driving licence penalty points holders

Separately the IAM has looked into the ‘top five’ and has discovered the following:

  • 51 points holder (Oxford): provisional licence holder, three speeding offences in 30mph zone, seven offences of not providing driver details. Not disqualified
  • 42 points holder (Basildon): seven offences, all of which were for failing to report driver details. Previously held points for speeding including one at 109mph. Not disqualified from driving as magistrates accepted mitigating circumstances including ‘extreme hardship’ through loss of income. Not disqualified
  • 42 points holder (Liverpool): currently seven counts on record, including two of speeding in 30mph areas and five of not reporting driver of vehicle. Not disqualified
  • 39 points holder (Wigan): 13 counts of exceeding the speed limit for a goods vehicle. Not known if this driver has been disqualified
  • 38 points holder (Burnley): 10 counts of speeding in 30mph areas. Not disqualified

DVLA data shows that of the 45 million driving licence holders in Britain, three million have points on their licence. Some 100,000 have been disqualified over the past four years for reaching 12 points and four per cent got all their points in one go (reference 2).

The DVLA also says their evidence suggests 90% of drivers not disqualified are due to ‘judicial discretion’ (reference 2).

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “The IAM has been highlighting this issue for several years now and we appreciate that the flow of information between the DVLA and the courts is slowly improving, which will allow the courts to make better decisions while armed with the full facts.

“However these improvements cannot come quickly enough to deliver a truly joined-up approach to the judicial process. Individual courts making decision on prosecutions can lead to inconsistency in how the law is applied which risks devaluing the simple ‘12 points and you’re out’ road safety message. If the public sees that persistent offenders are getting away with it, they may believe that road traffic rules – which let not us not forget, are designed for their safety – are ineffective or unimportant.”

Tips

 

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    IAM RoadSmart tips for driving a new car

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    How to avoid becoming a victim of road rage

    We have all come across road rage at some point in our driving lives. When it happens, it can leave you feeling intimidated and scared. But with a bit of planning you can prevent the situation altogether. Richard Gladman, head of driving and riding standards, provides a few top tips about how to avoid being a victim of road rage, and what to do if it escalates.

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    17/04/18

    Filtering through traffic on a motorcycle

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