Road safety cutbacks spark criticism from IAM

IAM road safety cuts criticism
The IAM is criticising cuts in road safety.

A MASSIVE Government spending cut on road safety campaigns has sparked sharp criticism from the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

The cutbacks, from £19-million in 2008/09 to just £4-million in 2011/12 – a reduction of nearly 80 per cent – were revealed after a freedom of information enquiry by the road safety charity.

According to the IAM, the Department for Transport plans to spend £3.7-million on road safety in the 2012/13 financial year, which will see £53,000 spent on cyclist safety, £78,000 on child and teenager road safety, £50,000 on research into young drivers, £1.275-million on motorcycle campaigns and £1.685-million on drink-drive campaigns.

IAM director of policy Neil Greig said: “Right across the public sector, road safety is being cut too hard and too quickly, despite the huge returns on investment.

“One life saved, saves the economy £1.7-million and £53,000 is a derisory amount to spend on national cycle safety campaigns.

“Until we have the right roads infrastructure in place, publicity and education campaigns are one of the few tools we have to help us save cyclists lives. £78,000 for children’s safety campaigns is virtually insignificant.

“If the government is serious about safety for these groups, these amounts must be increased.

“The successful drink-driving and biker campaigns have raised awareness of these issues and they both appear to be working. The government needs to match that kind of expenditure and take the safety of children and cyclists seriously,”