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Spending cuts prompt road safety concerns

By: Deborah Bates
26 January 2011

Some industry experts are concerned over how the government's planned spending cuts will affect the road safety of drivers throughout the UK, both those driving their personal car, and those driving professionally, such as employees of a logistics consultancy.

As a result, Auto Blog has asked these experts to give their opinion on what should be done to prevent a higher number of accidents after the spending cuts. Stephen Glaister, of the RAC Foundation, was the first to voice his thoughts.

"Speed cameras do significant good, but they are only one of the weapons we need to fight the battle. For example, road-engineering schemes can significantly reduce accidents, especially if properly targeted," he said.

A specialist from the Association of British Drivers, Brian Macdowell, also chipped in his two pence' worth: "Budget cuts are an opportunity to tackle road safety from a new angle. We think cameras should only be used at genuine accident blackspots. Police traffic controls should be increased, motorway speed limits should be increased, and we think there should be incentives for drivers to update their skills behind the wheel."

However not everyone sees the cuts as an opportunity, with the AA's Andrew Howard calling them "a challenge."

"Concentrating on tackling the known problems: drink and drug driving, excessive speed, distracted driving and extreme, show-off driving will help. Road maintenance and pothole filling have a role to play in road safety too."

Lastly, Duncan Vernon, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, argued: "Road safety cannot be completely protected from the cuts. When local authorities are setting their budgets, they should prioritise long-term and sustainable road safety interventions that make a difference. We are promoting the importance of road safety officers evaluating the work they do."

It seems many local authorities have been thinking ahead and attempting to improve the safety in their area, with officials in the Great Manchester areas cracking down on illegal drivers, according to Rochdale Online.

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