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UK slashes spending on road safety campaigns

1 February 2013

The UK Government has slashed its spending on road safety campaigns to just £4m in 2011/2012, compared to £19m in 2008-09, a cut of about 80%, according to road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

The government expenditure on the road safety campaigns is expected to witness a further 10.75% drop in the 2012-13 financial year, the institute revealed.

This financial year, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) is planning to spend just £3.7m on road safety, which will include a total of £53,000 on cyclist safety and £78,000 on child and teenager road safety.

The government will also spend £50,000 on research into young drivers, £1.275m on motorcycle campaigns and £1.685m on drink-drive campaigns.

According to the IAM, every fatal road accident incurs a cost of £1.7m to the country and the total cost of fatal road accidents in 2011 was £3.2bn.

"Every fatal road accident incurs a cost of £1.7m to the country and the total cost of fatal road accidents in 2011 was £3.2bn."

IAM director of policy Neil Greig said that right across the public sector, road safety is being cut too hard and too quickly in spite of the huge returns on investment.

An expenditure of £53,000 and £78,000 on national cycle safety campaigns and children's safety campaigns respectively, is inadequate, and the amount spent must be increased, Grieg said.

"The government needs to match that kind of expenditure and take the safety of children and cyclists seriously," he added.

The IAM is an independent road safety charity, focused on improving standards and safety in driving.

It has over 200 local volunteer groups and more than 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland.