Adapt roads for the elderly, charity warns

 

Roads must be adapted to cope with rising numbers of elderly drivers while young people must be educated more effectively if safety is to improve, a charity claims.

Among a range of recommendations to improve road safety, the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) has called for the compulsory inclusion of traffic safety in the national curriculum – a move it expects could slash numbers of young people killed on UK roads.

While the number of people killed in 2013 fell to a record low of 1,713 in 2013, the IAM said the figure remained ‘unacceptable’ and should be further reduced through training and greater awareness.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said ‘Some countries in Europe have very structured and well organised programmes aimed at young people through their time in education. With ambitious targets being set on reducing the numbers of young people killed and injured on our roads, we believe having road safety education as part of the National Curriculum is a sure way to achieving those aims.’

The IAM’s Road Safety Manifesto also warns that car and highway design will need to better reflect the needs of the UK’s rising elderly population. The charity has pushed for the development of new licences to keep older drivers safe and independent.

Public sector leaders were called on to ensure contracts are only awarded to companies with a road risk policy or road safety traffic management accreditation. Extension of health and safety requirements to those driving could similarly be considered, the IAM added.

Calls were raised to recognise and enhance the role of charities and volunteers in improving road safety.

 
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