In an attempt to reduce the number of accidents and injuries on UK roads, the Department for Transport (DfT) recently unveiled a range of new safety proposals. Measures set out in the government’s “Working together to build a safer road system: British road safety statement,” are specifically concerned with helping learners and punishing dangerous drivers.
Plans for specific drivers
For the first time ever, learner drivers will be offered the opportunity to drive on motorways under the DfT’s new proposals. This is designed to make drivers safer after they have passed their test and would involve a lesson with an approved instructor in a dual controlled car.
At the other end of the scale, police forces across the country will be given the power to remove more dangerous drivers from UK roads. A grant of £750,000 for police forces in England and Wales will fund more officers with drug recognition and impairment testing skills for more effective and targeted enforcement.
More points and bigger fines
Motorists caught using their mobile phone while driving will now face the prospect of 4 penalty points instead of the current 3. What’s more, the fixed penalty notice will rise from £100 to £150 as well.
For larger vehicles where the consequences of a collision can be catastrophic, the penalty will increase from 3 points to 6. However, fixed penalty notices will rise in line with standard vehicles, from £100 to £150.
Several of the measures that the DfT revealed involve more money for road safety schemes. Over the next four years, a grant of £50 million will support Bikeability cycle training in schools. Since its inception, this scheme has taught more than 1.5 million children about road awareness.
A further £2 million has been set aside for an in-depth research programme to identify the best possible driver education, training, and behaviour-change interventions for learner and novice drivers too.
“Common sense proposals”
Commenting on the new measures, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking to improve that record.
“Today we are delivering common sense proposals that balance tougher penalties for dangerous drivers with practical steps to help youngsters and other more vulnerable groups stay safe on our roads.”
You can read the full version of the DfT’s statement here.