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Calls for traffic education to be featured in National Curriculum

By Kyle Linsay
Friday, January 9, 2015 - 13:00

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Is learner driving enough? IAM think not

Is learner driving enough? IAM think not

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has called for traffic education to become an integral part of the National Curriculum, in an effort to cut the numbers of young people killed and injured on UK roads.

The announcement comes off the back of a survey by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) which found that only Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain and Latvia operated mandatory traffic education programmes.

Others, such as Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK currently only have voluntary programmes to teach children about road safety.

One of the central themes of IAM’s Road Safety Manifesto is ‘reducing young driver risk’ and the first part of that is to start them young calls for road safety education to be part of the curriculum.

Commenting on the request, Neil Greig, IAM Director of Policy and Research, said: “Unless it’s part of the curriculum, it won’t become part of a young person’s thinking and educators won’t be obliged to teach it. Other countries have teaching on road safety as part of primary and secondary education, so why should we not have it too?”

As an example, in Italy the primary school course is divided up into three parts – road safety (including road rules), environment, and health considerations. Latvia goes even further, requiring traffic skills to be tested after the third, sixth, ninth and 12th grades with age-appropriate tests including knowing your route to school, and understanding the responsibilities as a driver or cyclist on the road.

Although the numbers of people killed and injured on UK roads have been steadily decreasing for many years, the rate of decrease has been slowing down recently.

In 2013, 1,713 people were killed in road accidents, the lowest number on record, and half as many as in 2000. The total number of casualties of all severities in 2013 was 183,670 (reference 2).

Despite the fall in casualty numbers, the IAM has said the figures remain unacceptable and has repeatedly called for greater training and awareness to help deliver a further marked reduction.

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