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.
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.
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.”
The Government has announced that learner drivers will be allowed on motorways from 4 June this year – a move road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has welcomed as ‘common sense’ and could save countless lives.
An announcement from the DVSA today (1 March) says learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales from Monday 4 June.
Learners will need to be accompanied by an approved driving instructor and driving a car fitted with dual controls. Motorways lessons will be voluntary and it will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them.
IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, has long called for this move to be made.
A consultation was launched at the end of 2016, and the plans drawn up in August 2017. The announcement today of the date of implementation is the final step to the idea finally coming to fruition.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “IAM RoadSmart strongly welcomes this common sense change to the law on motorway driving.
“It has never made sense to us that new drivers on our most important roads learned how to use them by trial and potentially fatal error. The government’s insistence on the use of approved instructors and dual controlled cars is a welcome safeguard that will ensure consistent levels of training and a proper phased introduction to motorway driving skills.
“Delays and injuries caused by driver error blight our motorways and with new systems such as smart motorways being widely introduced, it is vital that the level of knowledge and skill among motorways users is improved to keep our key economic routes flowing.
“Any current drivers who feel the need to refresh their skills or improve their confidence and enjoyment on the motorway can take an IAM RoadSmart motorway module today.”
Notes to editors
Further information from:
IAM RoadSmart press office – 020 8996 9777 – firstname.lastname@example.org
ISDN broadcast lines available
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/IAMRoadSmart
On Twitter: @IAMRoadSmart
IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart’s Driver Retraining Academy visit www.iamdra.org.uk
To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit: https://wwwiamroadsmart.com/local-groups