Outdated government processes could jeopardise road safety
Motoring technology is happening quicker than the government can update its road safety policy, and that presents a risk according to a report by the House of Commons Transport Committee.
The report, from a cross-party committee of MPs, is calling on the government to plan ahead on road safety in a way that allows for the rapidly changing makeup of UK roads.
The Transport Committee has concerns about the imminent introduction of manual, semi-autonomous and driverless cars on UK roads, and questioned whether the government had a robust strategy in place for ensuring that appropriate road safety measures reflect these changes in motoring habits.
The Transport Committee has said that the government needs to consider how new and emerging vehicles will be certified and tested, how drivers will be trained and how driving standards will need to be updated.
Road safety charity, Brake has pledged its support for driverless cars stating that they could cut the number of road deaths by eliminating human error, one of the most common causes of serious road traffic accidents.
Helen Williams, a senior road accident solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Bristol office, said: “The pace of new technology in road transport seems incredibly fast and much of it could improve road safety here in the UK
“However, it is vital that the law ensures that driving standards improve, the general public fully understands any changes to the functionality of driving tests and, most importantly, that road safety is in no way compromised.
“Around 1,700 people lose their lives on UK roads every year, and if the advances that technology offers are to impact on that horrific death toll the government must invest, both in legislative and financial terms, in road safety, and plan ahead.”
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