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Road Safety Consultation 6 July 2004

The Minister for Transport has announced the release of the Department’s consultation document ‘Promoting a Safe Environment - Road Safety Initiative 2004-2007’.

The Department aims to reduce road traffic accidents by 2% per year, introduce maximum speed limits; enhance safety in residential areas and improve the safety of pedestrians on routes to and around schools and many other road safety initiatives.

The Department has framed the proposals in line with the UK’s road safety initiative ‘Tomorrow’s Roads – Safer for Everyone’ as this provides a wide ranging approach to road safety - safer drivers, safer vehicles, safer infrastructure, safer speeds, safer motorcycling, safer pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, better enforcement and education.

Proposals include introducing maximum speed limits on roads according to their hierarchy designation, i.e. strategic, secondary, local or access roads. Under the proposals the maximum permitted speed on the highest road category ‘strategic’ would be 60mph. Special consideration has been given to the status of the Mountain Road where a maximum speed limit of 70mph is proposed.

Further suggestions are to raise the age for passing the practical driving tests to 17 years; introducing staged tests according to the type and size of vehicle and extending the period of ‘R’ plate restrictions to 2 years. There are also suggestions of limiting the size of vehicle young motorcyclists could ride.

Proposals also include extending periodic testing to goods vehicles below 24,390kg as soon as resources permit, and the Department aims to be testing cars over 10 years old by 2010.

There are many wide ranging safety initiatives including encouraging safer motorcycling; introducing ‘Route Alert’ schemes to raise awareness of hazards on the route with the aim of reducing casualties; improving and standardising signing; improved safety at school frontages and School Travel Plans which include safer routes to school.

A further proposal is to reduce the legal level of blood alcohol content from 80ml to 50ml in line with the majority of European Countries.

Under the heading ‘Better Enforcement’ the Department of Transport propose to undertake parking enforcement in Disc Zones and car parks; it is investigating introducing Safety Cameras; increase fines and penalties according to the seriousness of the offence and proposals for impounding vehicles for certain offences.

The document is available from Department of Transport Reception at the Sea Terminal and online here.

Comments are sought on the proposals and other measures contained within the document and should be forwarded in writing by 31st August 2004 to:

Department of Transport
Sea Terminal Building
Isle of Man

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