MPs tell the Government to improve driver safety following Telegraph campaign (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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MPs tell the Government to improve driver safety following Telegraph campaign
6:01pm Friday 26th October 2012 in News
STOP dithering and improve young driver safety following the Lancashire Telegraph’s ‘Wasted Lives’ campaign, MPs have told the government.
The Transport Committee of the House of Commons has condemned ministers’ inaction saying it costs lives.
Chairman Louise Ellman said they had “wasted an opportunity” by ignoring its July report calling for a review of driver training to tackle the high fatality rate among young motorists.
This echoed the Telegraph’s campaign, launched after 22-year-old Matthew Hannon’s death in 2006 when he crashed his car racing through Blackburn.
Now Blackburn MP Jack Straw is seeking a meeting with new Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to urge action.
Matthew’s mother Ann said: “I fully support the committee. The government clearly aren’t taking this seriously. It would be different if it was one of their loved ones who had died.
“We want action to save young people’s lives and prevent any other families going through the agony I and my husband Terry have suffered.”
‘Wasted Lives’ calls for measures including a graduated licence for new drivers; restrictions on them driving at night, on motorways, over 50 mph, and carrying passengers; a ban on young motorists driving powerful cars; and immediate disqualification of under 25s caught with ANY drugs or alcohol in their system or more than 10 mph over the speed limit.
Mrs Ellman said: “Generalised talk about everyone playing their part to bring road casualties down should not be allowed to hide central government’s responsibilities.
“I am particularly disappointed that the Government hasn’t accepted the committee’s recommendation to initiate an independent review of driver training, especially given the high casualty rate for young drivers.
“Further proposals to improve the safety of young drivers are promised in the next few weeks and we will want to look very closely at any such measures.”
Mr Straw said: “I was disappointed when I went to see my good friend and colleague Ruth Kelly when she was Transport Secretary and got nowhere. The evidence is this is institutional bias in the department and I shall be seeking an appointment with Mr McLoughlin on this issue. Things have to change.”
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