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.”
IAM RoadSmart has welcomed the Department of Transport commitment to monitor the Northern Ireland Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Scheme as a possible model for future roll out across the rest of the UK in the future.
IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest road safety charity has long campaigned for a bespoke British graduated driving licensing scheme for new drivers, who are the biggest at-risk driving group by a significant margin.
Under its long awaited proposals, the Northern Ireland Government plans to bring a number of provisions into force in 2019/20 including passenger carrying restrictions and a six-month mandatory learning period.
IAM RoadSmart is wholly in favour of the Northern Ireland approach, in particular the minimum learning period and some restrictions on peer group passengers. We remain to be convinced about the value of night curfews, but the real world experience in Northern Ireland will help ensure that the next steps are evidence based.
In addition IAM RoadSmart also strongly supports the Department for Transport’s commissioning of a £2 million young driver research programme. This will look into the effectiveness of a range of safety measures for young and novice drivers, both pre and post-test. These will include getting parents more involved in managing post-test hazardous situations as well as greater use of telematics to manage driver behaviour.
IAM RoadSmart is ready to provide its knowledge and expertise in developing the content of any new driver learning system and post-test interventions.
Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer, said: “IAM RoadSmart welcomes the new scheme for GDL in Northern Ireland. Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people in the UK today. New drivers are most at risk in their first year of driving and yet the current system abandons them to learn by their own, sometimes fatal, mistakes.”
She added: “The risk factors are well known; lack of experience in all traffic conditions but, especially rural roads, darkness and poor weather, attitude, distraction (by peer passengers or smartphones) and alcohol and drugs. Choosing effective restrictions to limit these risk factors should be the key objective of the government in creating a new licensing system that is practical, affordable and works to reduce young driver road deaths and injuries.
“Today’s news is a great first step in ensuring that a young person’s lifetime journey on our roads does not end before it has even started.”
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