On the road to No.10

What’s in store for Britain’s drivers?

On Thursday, July 4, we will be given the chance to have our say on who governs us, and how, in the General Election.

MSA GB, as a non-political organisation, does not take a political side, and it will never suggest to members which way they should vote.

But we do think you should know exactly what they have in mind for motoring, driving and road safety in general, and so we have ploughed through the various manifestos and policy statements to find out what lies in store for you, post-July 4.

What you want… and what’s missing…

We have asked our members what they would like to see the parties pledge. Many have said a greater focus on driving standards and road safety would be appreciated; indeed, even a passing reference would be worth something, as it would suggest the parties understand the importance of safer driving.

Sadly, however, and perhaps predictably, there is little meat in any of the parties’ manifestos that directly links to learner drivers. Where road safety is mentioned, it tends to be in vague improvements to the roads network, or nebulous phrases such as ‘using technology to reduce collisions’
(Conservative’s Plan for Drivers).

No-one has said definitely how they would tackle long waiting lists for L-tests, for example, or reforms to the current L-test. There’s nothing in there about Parts 1-3, examiners or Standards Checks – but perhaps that’s no big shock either.

What is more disappointing is that there are no commitments to reducing traffic casualty statistics from any of the parties. Indeed, only one, the Conservatives, even had a heading marked ‘Road Safety’; but before any ADI gets carried away with the idea that it is a priority area for the Tories, the items listed under it were about scrapping low traffic neighbourhoods and 20mph zones. MSA GB doubts any road safety officer would beleive that axeing such schemes would in some way lower traffic collisions and casualties.

Only one party, Labour, has said previously that it has an overarching goal to reduce KSI figures and get Britain’s road safety back on track as the world leader. It has promised to return a means of recording road traffic casualties and set goals for their reduction at some point during the parliament. But it should be stressed that those comments were made before the election campaign, and it did not make it into the party manifesto as official policy.

It does, however, suggest an awareness of the importance of road safety issues.

But there is nothing on graduated driving licences – something ADIs increasingly seem to be edging towards supporting – and certainly nothing on the contents of the L-test. Any hopes of a swift cut in the drink-drive limit appear to be dashed, too, as no party has pledged to cut the 80mg limit.

Interestingly, the Conservatives have resisted the temptation to privatise the L-test, which is something that has been hinted at previously.

However, there are plenty of nuggets of information that could suggest a roadmap for a future Government as far as driver training and testing is concerned.


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