Infrastructure and training are the answer to UK pedestrian and cycling problem says IAM
Friday, 8 May 2009
The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has welcomed today's report from the National Audit Office as it underlines a focus on children and cyclists as the top priority needed to lift Great Britain up the road safety league table. "The government are already talking about creating the safest roads in the world and the biggest challenge will be to do this for our most vulnerable road users," says Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the IAM.
The IAM believe that long-term investment in separate facilities for cycling and an improved environment for pedestrians is key. Mr Greig added, "Drivers and riders can make mistakes but, when they share the same road space, that mistake is always fatal for the most vulnerable, while the car or lorry driver will more likely emerge physically unscathed. Providing the best possible protection must include more cycle paths and better urban design for the safety all road users."
Research shows that children in deprived areas are most at risk as they spend much more time near busy roads compared to our European counterparts. Town planning and new designs for housing areas will ultimately deliver more safe places to live and play but that will take many years. In the meantime the IAM supports pedestrian and cycling training for children and also provides training for adults wishing to cycle more often. Such training not only increases skills and confidence, but enforces the principles of road safety and promotes awareness of the needs of vulnerable road users. These have always been a key part of the advanced driving test.