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Educate drivers for life, motoring organisation says

More police on the beat and training incentives might cut road deaths, IAM reckons

A lifelong approach to learning is the best way forward for road safety in the UK, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has said.

In its 'Road Safety Manifesto', published ahead of the general election, theIAM has called for support from all political parties to promote driver improvement on UK roads.

In a week which has seen one cyclist killed by a lorry in Wiltshire and another badly injured by a police car en route to a shooting in London, the IAM believes that only radical measures can cut what it describes as 'the unacceptable number of road deaths and injuries every year.'

In particular, the organisation has called for Chief Constables to provide high profile policing, and tax breaks for companies offering their staff drivers further driver training.

“A lifelong approach to learning, delivered through advanced training, is the single biggest factor that can benefit road safety,” said Simon Best, IAM Chief Executive.

“Human error is the biggest cause of crashes, so improving driver ability is the best way to deliver real reductions in road deaths and injuries: better driver behaviour must be the key road safety priority for the next ten years.

“Young drivers, older drivers, motorcyclists and business drivers are the groups that would benefit the most from further training, and the IAM has solutions that could potentially improve their safety record,” added Mr Best.

The IAM calls for Government to play its part by providing simple incentives for those considering further training such as tax breaks and VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) discounts, with any cost to the exchequer being redeemed through savings from fewer crashes.

It also considers visible policing to be a much overlooked deterrent to reckless driving. More police on the road “will encourage good driver behaviour and deny the use of the of the road to a reckless minority,” it says.

* A 29-year-old Marlborough man was killed in a crash on the A338 near Tidworth, Wiltshire, on Wednesday. He was cycling from Tidworth to Marlborough at around 7.15pm on Wednesday evening when he was overtaken by an articulated lorry driven by a 55-year-old man from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

Police are still investigating how the collision 200 metres north of the Leckford crossroads took place, but the pedal cyclist suffered serious head injuries and died at the scene.

And in Islington, a cyclist is in hospital with critical injuries after a collision with a police car. The 59-year-old was cycling in Northgate Road, Islington, at about 9pm on Wednesday when the crash occurred.

The marked police car, which had its lights on and sirens sounding, had been on its way to reports of a shooting in Hackney.

The cyclist was rushed to hospital, where he remains in a "critical but stable" condition.The police driver has not been suspended but has been taken off driving duties.


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Alankk | 14 years ago

I love what the IAM is focusing on. Totally agree.

Though I wonder about descriptions on incidents, cyclist is such a general term I don't know what it means as oppose to the descriptions of motor vehicles as in this case a police car with lights and siren on or an articulated lorry driven by a 55-year-old man. I'm curious to know what kind of cyclist to put it in better context, even the type/model of bike would give a likely idea of the experience the cyclist have.

solentine | 14 years ago

Couldn't agree more with the IAM.

Having had extra bike lessons with police riders, and my employer paying for defensive driver training, it shows how much you've forgotten and how dangerous our driving habits have become.

Also IAM training is good fun!

OldRidgeback | 14 years ago

More good sense from the IAM. There isn't anything in this I don't agree with fully. I've been tempted to take the advanced IAM's motorcycle test for some time - it's a question of finding time. I do know that taking my motorbike test all those years ago also made me a better car driver. The combination of riding bicycles, motorbikes and driving cars has made me a reasonably aware road user but I'm also the first to admit that my attention levels are higher when I'm on two wheels (whether with or without an engine) than on four. I wish the DfT would listen more closely to the IAM than some of the poorly thought out drivel being produced by other so-called experts.

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