As the government this week launches its Road to Zero Strategy with the aim of leading the world in zero-emission vehicle technology, road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has warned them not to ignore the part that drivers must play in their plans and how they can make a massive difference to its success or failure.
IAM RoadSmart recommends that, in the rush towards utilising high-technology to minimise emissions, we must not lose focus and must continue to encourage people to learn to drive in a safer and more efficient way – and not expect the technology to ‘bail out’ drivers every time without their making any discernible effort themselves.
The government’s strategy sets out ambition for at least 50%, and as many as 70%, of new car sales to be ultra-low emission by 2030, alongside up to 40% of new vans.
It added that it will take steps to enable massive roll-out of infrastructure to support an electric vehicle revolution, and launched the strategy that will set the stage for the biggest technology advancement to hit UK roads since the invention of the combustion engine.
However, it did not state which technology would deliver these results, with the government declaring the Road to Zero Strategy as ‘technology neutral.’
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “IAM RoadSmart welcomes the government’s Road to Zero strategy but reminds them that they must not forget the driver in the rush to adopt new technology.
“Education and eco-driving training have a key role to play in helping to meet, or exceed, emission targets and reduce fuel consumption and it can start to deliver improvements right away. Even hybrid and pure electric cars can be driven badly and without the right knowledge to maximise efficiency, resources will continue to be wasted and costs increased for drivers and companies.
“IAM RoadSmart is looking forward to working with the government to set in place a driver training framework that will ensure the UK can enjoy safer and cleaner motoring for many years ahead.”