The Institute of Advanced Motorists has reacted disappointedly in the lack of priority and interest our political parties have given to safety and cutting deaths on the roads across the UK. Through looking at the election manifestos, they have seen that priority for road safety isn’t high on any of the manifestos of the core political parties.
Road accidents are the leading cause of death for people aged between 5 and 19 and the third leading cause for people aged between 20 and 34, yet the government and potential members of the future government don’t seem to see cutting these figures as a priority. Not one party in England and Wales has published any initiatives to tackle this huge cause of death.
With the General Election looming the Institute of Advanced Motorists saw it as an opportunity to tackle the issue of road deaths head on but it seems political parties have chosen to look at other issues rather than the root problem.
Political Manifestos Fall Short on Road Safety
In the Labour Party manifesto they talk about long-term investment in strategic roads and addressing the maintenance needed on local roads. The Conservative Party talk about investment funds to make cycling safer and the Labour Party also mention that £300 million would also be allocated for repairing potholes. Recent research has shown that this figure is far from what is needed to fix the problem and other parties including the Liberal Democrats and UKIP have also shared scant views on road safety, with minimal mentions of keeping cyclists safe and in UKIP’s publication, the plan to only install speed cameras as a deterrent in black spots.
The only party who stand out when it comes to road safety is the Green Party who assert they want to reduce the drink drive limit to as low as practical and also bring down speed limits to 20mph in residential areas and 40mph on rural roads. They also want to ensure best practice technology are fitted in HGVs and that pedestrians and cyclists are a priority on the roads.
In their own political manifesto the Institute of Advanced Motorists identified seven key areas of important for the government for focus on:
- Reducing young driver risk
- Driver risk management
- Keeping older drivers safer for longer
- Protecting the vulnerable
- Safe motorcycling has a key role in transport policy
- Leadership is essential for sustainable road safety
- Supporting the law abiding majority on our roads
Whilst some of these points have been covered in passing by the manifestos and in more depth by The Green Party, the political parties are falling short as a whole. What this means for the next government isn’t yet clear but it won’t be a surprise when campaigns and charities like those run by the Institute of Advanced Motorists are lobbying for support and pushing the government for new legislation come the formation of the next Cabinet.