BMF sees positive steps in Government Road Safety Statement
The BMF and other motoring organisations have been responding to the government’s Road Safety Statement, released at the end of 2015.
Several measures designed to improve safety on UK roads were announced, with the main motorcycling focus being on an improved CBT training scheme.
Other key measures include allowing learner drivers to use motorways in dual controlled cars and granting police more power to remove dangerous drivers from the roads.
The following statement outlines the BMF’s response to the announcement made in late December:
The BMF believes that the best way to make motorcycling safer is to increase the use of motorcycles. Sales of commuter bikes are continuing to increase but this is still being largely ignored as a “Game-Changer” in the DfT. This aside this announcement contains many aspects of good news. The CBT review has resulted in DVSA visits to selected training companies to drive up the standard of learning the new riders receive. This sits well with the Motorcycle Industry Associations scheme to do the same – raise and praise the standard of first-step training. The BMF Government Relations officer, Graeme Hay points to one particular aspect of the statement; mobile phones. “There is no doubt that all riders will welcome the new fines and increased activity in detecting and prosecuting drivers who continue to put riders lives at risk with their use of mobile telephones, whilst driving.”
Other organisations have been more critical of the government’s announcements. Road safety charity Brake commented: “Despite calls by Brake and across the road safety sector for stronger leadership from government on preventing devastating road death and injuries following a recent increase in casualties, the Statement fails to include casualty reduction targets or a ‘vision zero’, which would make clear that the ultimate goal is to reduce deaths to zero.
Alice Bailey, campaigns officer at Brake, said: “There is some important recognition in this Statement of what good practice in road safety looks like, and the fact that road safety is an issue central to public health and sustainability – and that by improving road safety we can make economic gains too.
“Yet we’re disappointed that the government has failed to include casualty reduction targets, an ambitious vision, or more decisive action on issues like young driver safety, pedestrian safety or drink driving, all of which remain desperately important.”