26 October 2012
Brake, the road safety charity
Today, the Transport Select Committee has published the government's response to the Committee's inquiry into road safety. Read the report here.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "Last year road death and serious injury increased for the first time in 17 years, meaning more families suffering horrendously and needlessly. The government's assessment of this rise in serious casualties is disappointing, failing to acknowledge the suffering they inflict, the costly burden on society, and their preventability. Both Brake and the Committee urged the government to treat these horrifying statistics as a wake-up call, to spur determined and bold action to make our roads and communities safer, particularly for people on foot and bicycle. However, the government's response shows a lack of willingness to take responsibility and a lack of ambition in bringing these devastating casualties down. We urge ministers to acknowledge how much could be achieved, to the benefit of communities and the public purse, through more decisive and progressive road safety policies."
On young drivers, Julie Townsend said: "It is disappointing the government has not committed to an independent review of driver training to look at ways of reducing young driver crashes and casualties, as recommended by the Transport Select Committee. It is unacceptable that more young people die in preventable road crashes than from any other cause, and continue to be involved in such a huge proportion of serious crashes. The government must act to tackle this needless suffering and the huge costs to society. Brake looks forward to hearing the government's proposals later this year. We hope ministers will listen to evidence showing that a 'graduated' approach to learning to drive would be highly effective in improving safety, with a minimum 12 month learning period and restrictions on the riskiest driving situations for at least a year after passing your test. This has been evidenced to save many lives in other countries, and research shows it would work here too."
Read about Brake's Too young to die campaign.