Government drives home road safety with tougher penalties and motorway lessons for learners
New road safety measures have been introduced by the Department for Transport (DfT), including help for learner drivers and tougher penalties for unsafe driving.
The plans announced by the DfT on Monday include a raft of measures covering cycle safety, driver education and investment in drug recognition and impairment testing skills – helping police "remove more dangerous drivers from UK roads".
As part of the proposals, learner drivers will be allowed to take a motorway driving lesson with an approved driving instructor – to make sure they're properly prepared before their test, says the DfT.
The plans underscore the government's commitment to reducing fatalities and injuries on Britain's roads, the Department confirmed.
Police forces in England and Wales will receive a £750,000 grant to invest in training to spot drug-driving and other impairments, while £50 million will be invested over the next four years to support cycle training in schools.
Another £2 million will fund an in-depth research programme to identify the best possible driver education for learner and novice drivers.
The government also aims to ensure that all HGVs remain permanently fitted with sideguards (for cyclists' safety).
In addition, safer motorcycling is being promoted, with the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists to be strengthened.
Penalty points for drivers using hand-held mobile phones while driving will increase from 3 to 4, with the fixed penalty notice rising from £100 to £150; and for HGVs, the penalty will increase from 3 points to 6, while the fine will also rise to £150.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin commented:
Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking to improve that record.
"Today we are delivering common-sense proposals that balance tougher penalties for dangerous drivers with practical steps to help youngsters and other more vulnerable groups stay safe on our roads."