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Government looks at ways to make driving safer

Posted on: 13/08/2019

Failure to wear a seatbelt could result in penalty points as well as fines, under new plans to reduce the number of deaths on the UK’s roads.

Increasing the penalties for those who refuse to strap themselves in is being considered as one of 74 actions to improve road safety published by the Department for Transport in a new Road Safety Action Plan.  Currently, offenders are given a £100 on-the-spot fine.

A Rural Road Users Advisory Panel will also be set up to explore how to boost road safety in rural areas, particularly by improving roads and traffic signs, and addressing the issues around speed limits and enforcement.

The action plan is designed to improve road safety for people at every stage of life.  This includes:

  • For young adults, research will look at the benefits of introducing Graduated Driving Licensing.  It could put restrictions on new drivers, such as a minimum learning period, not driving at night, or not driving with passengers under a certain age in the car.

  • For adults, the Government is investigating whether alcolocks – devices which measure the alcohol in a driver’s breath and stop a vehicle from starting if that level is too high – can reduce drink-driving re-offending as part of rehabilitation programmes in the UK.

In other road safety measures, the government is currently consulting on banning tyres aged ten years and older from buses, coaches, minibuses and lorries.  If proposals are supported, new laws could be introduced later this year, ready to come into force early 2020.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the action plan was a “key milestone in our road safety work and sets out the important steps we are taking to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.”

Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis added: “Increasing penalties for people who disregard the simplest of way of protecting themselves is just one of a long list of actions this government is taking to help keep people safe on our roads.”