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  • International Workplace
  • 20 June 2017
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Road safety at work should be higher HSE priority

Road safety at work is a critical health and safety issue that requires higher priority from the HSE and one which should be at the core of good corporate governance for every employer, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart has said.

The message is included in its new 12-point manifesto, which calls on all road safety professionals to “work together to reduce the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the UK’s roads.”

The charity urges legislators, car makers, social media and smartphone companies to work with road users on practical solutions to address driver distraction, especially smartphone usage and interactive dashboard information availability.

Making informed procurement choices is vital, the charity says, with the manifesto urging DEFRA to implement cross-government procurement rules that accelerate the uptake of safe new vehicles with features such as autonomous braking. 

New drivers are also included as IAM RoadSmart calls for further changes to post-driving test driving rules and supports a 12-month minimum learning period for new drivers.

The charity also called for a reduction in the drink-drive limit in England and Wales, matching that already in place for Scotland.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The UK has one of the best road safety records in Europe, but still 1,730 people a year are killed. We believe by working together with Government and the road safety industry we can deliver a step change in road safety and significantly reduce the fatalities and injuries which occur daily on our roads.”

IAM RoadSmart’s 12-point manifesto is as follows:

  1. Partnership is the best way to get our accident figures heading downwards again. With widespread support the Road Safety Industry Consortium can help reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.
  2. Driver distraction is now a top priority safety issue. We want legislators, car makers, social media and smartphone companies to work with road users on practical solutions.
  3. IAM RoadSmart supports more research on the transition to driverless cars and on the education and training challenges their introduction will bring.
  4. IAM RoadSmart supports raising the licence renewal age to 75 with a compulsory eye test. Family doctors should be encouraged to ‘prescribe’ driving reviews for older drivers.
  5. Road safety at work is a critical health and safety issue that requires higher priority at the Health and Safety Executive and should be at the core of good corporate governance for every employer.
  6. IAM RoadSmart wants DEFRA to implement cross-government procurement rules which accelerates the uptake of safe new vehicles with features such as autonomous braking. Public and private sector companies should only issue contracts to firms with driver risk management policies in place.
  7. IAM RoadSmart will promote motorcycling as a safe mode of transport that can help solve congestion and pollution problems.
  8. Experience is the key to a safe driving career and IAM RoadSmart supports a 12-month minimum learning period for new drivers.
  9. A reduction in the drink-drive limit in England and Wales will save lives.
  10. All highway authorities should aim towards a minimum three-star risk rating on their A roads.
  11. IAM RoadSmart wants local councils and central government to protect long-term funding that will eradicate the road maintenance backlog.
  12. IAM RoadSmart wants a Brexit deal that maintains the UK’s exemplary road safety record and does not add additional burdens to drivers and riders visiting the EU.