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IAM uncovers £15m government cut in road safety campaigns

The road safety charity has revealed that road safety campaign spending by the DfT was slashed from £19m in 2008/09 to just £4m in 2011/12 and will drop to £3.57m for 2012/13. The figures were revealed after a freedom of information enquiry by the IAM.

The £3.57m that will be spent on road safety in 2012/13 is being divided as follows:

  • £53,000 spent on cyclist safety.
  • £78,000 on child and teenager road safety.
  • £50,000 on research into young drivers.
  • £1.275m on motorcycle campaigns.
  • £1.689m on drink-drive campaigns.

In response the IAM has highlighted that every fatal road accident costs the UK £1.7m. In 2011 the total cost of fatal road accidents was £3.2bn, with immeasurable emotional and social costs.

IAM director of policy Neil Greig said: ‘Right across the public sector road safety is being cut too hard and too quickly, despite the huge returns on investment.  One life saved, saves the economy £1.7m. £53,000 is a derisory amount to spend on national cycle safety campaigns. Until we have the right roads infrastructure in place, publicity and education campaigns are one of the few tools we have to help us save cyclists lives. £78,000 for children’s safety campaigns is virtually insignificant.  If the Government is serious about safety for these groups, these amounts must be increased.

‘The successful drink driving and biker campaigns have raised awareness of these issues and they both appear to be working. The Government needs to match that kind of expenditure and take the safety of children and cyclists seriously.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.