iamThe Institute of Advanced Motorists has criticised the government for cutting spending on road safety campaigns from £19 million in 2008/09 to just £4 million in 2011/12.

The figure, equal to an 80% cut, was revealed after a freedom of information enquiry by the leading road safety charity.

IAM director of policy Neil Greig said: “Right across the public sector road safety is being cut too hard and too quickly, despite the huge returns on investment.  One life saved, saves the economy £1.7 million.  £53,000 is a derisory amount to spend on national cycle safety campaigns. Until we have the right roads infrastructure in place, publicity and education campaigns are one of the few tools we have to help us save cyclists lives.  £78,000 for children’s safety campaigns is virtually insignificant.  If the government is serious about safety for these groups, these amounts must be increased. “

“The successful drink driving and biker campaigns have raised awareness of these issues and they both appear to be working. The government needs to match that kind of expenditure and take the safety of children and cyclists seriously,”

The DfT is planning on spending £3.7 million on road safety in the 2012/13 financial year which will see:
•£53,000 spent on cyclist safety
•£78,000 on child and teenager road safety
•£50,000 on research into young drivers
•£1.275 million on motorcycle campaigns; and
•£1.685 million on drink-drive campaigns.

These findings came on the 30th anniversary of seatbelt laws; latest figures show 95% of drivers and 96% of front seat passengers wear a seat belt. Yet every year, not wearing a seatbelt is still a contributory factor in more than 220 deaths and serious injuries.

“In the past three decades seatbelts have made a fantastic contribution to road safety success in Britain helping to save thousands of lives. But the ongoing message needs to be reinforced to all age groups,” IAM chief executive Simon Best said.

“All the modern technology in a new car assumes the occupant is wearing a seatbelt. Younger drivers know that not wearing a seatbelt is dangerous, but they must still be reminded that no matter where you are sitting in a car, a seatbelt will save your life.”

Posted 04/02/2013 by richard.hook@pavpub.com