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.”
Two friends who work for the UK’s biggest road safety charity IAM RoadSmart have just completed the project of a lifetime, passing on their motorbike training skills to other bikers in Nepal recently.
Scott Tulip and Pete Doherty, both area managers for the charity – who as it turned out both trained together in their previous lives in the Motorcycle Wing at the Metropolitan Police Driving School, were contracted to deliver the training as part of a two-week project by The Ghurkha Welfare Trust.
The Trust offers financial, medical and community aid to Gurkha veterans, their widows and communities in Nepal - many of whom live in the most remote and hazardous parts of the country - hence the need to provide safe riding skills training … enter Pete and Scott!
Many of the roads are tracks not wide enough for a four-wheeled vehicle, and others are metalled tracks.
The pair had the brief of ‘teaching on and off road training’ to the group of 12 students, starting with the basics of road safety training, called IPSGA – information, position, speed, gear, acceleration. It forms the basis of advanced driving and riding here, and has no less importance in Nepal.
Scott rightly said: “The idea is to ensure they are getting it right by skill rather than luck so we will have a theory session then it’s a case of putting into practice which is the key to any effective training. They are, rightfully, a proud nation and proud of their country. We need to engage with care and not be condescending or disrespectful to them or their nation.”
The GWT has over 20 offices and over 400 staff spread throughout the country. Their staff work tirelessly to ensure that their beneficiaries are well looked after, and able to live with dignity. The abiity of the Trust's staff to be mobile in times of need is critical - hence the importance of its motorbike riders being able to get around safely.
After starting in Kathmandhu, the pair moved down to Pokhara for training in earnest, a distance of 200km – with its own fair share of dramas, including unpredictable cattle grazing where they choose and sharing the road with brakeless buses!
The trainees were given a comprehensive session on repair and maintenance techniques – which unlike the UK involves not only getting hold of the right tools, but having them made especially!
The team took part in comprehensive on and off road training; some of the off road training involved riding through riverbeds, gravel and mud tracks.
The end of the trip saw Pete and Scott assessing how much their students had learned and progressed – and thankfully all passed. The next stage would involve them training each other and then passing this training down amongst the ranks.
Notes to editors:
Further information from:
IAM RoadSmart press office – 020 8996 9777 – email@example.com
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