Just as I am sure you are all back at work and busy juggling getting pupils up to speed for tests alongside demand from new pupils, things are hotting up in the DIA and in the wider world of road safety too!
In terms of our representation and lobbying role, May and June have seen us engaged in various important meetings with DVSA, Department for Transport and our partners at Highways England as these organisations look to shape their respective road safety strategies for the next three to five years and seek our input.
First up, in our role as the driver and rider training industry representative to the DfT’s Road Safety Delivery Group (the group with which government consults most closely on the development of road safety strategy, policy, legislation and regulation), we attended the latest meeting where discussion was focused on developing the government’s road safety strategy for the next five years.
I can’t say too much about those discussions right now but it’s encouraging how willing the department is to engage stakeholders, such as DIA, in shaping such an important strategy. We have been asked to submit ideas for interventions which may improve road safety to be incorporated into that strategy and we’re in the process of feeding those in. Needless to say, ideas and themes which members have highlighted to us over the years are front and centre. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the development of that strategy and engage you in any consultation.
One big idea that DIA had previously submitted to DfT for consideration is, I am delighted to say, now a research project. Milestones will be a controlled trial of learning to drive via a series of core modules based on the key risks of novice drivers. We’ve previously discussed the trial in this magazine but as we move to the recruitment phase we’ll shortly share more in-depth information with you. Suffice to say the opportunities this trial could create for the industry (if the intervention proves itself) and young driver education in general are exciting.
NASP has continued to meet regularly with DVSA to gain updates on the agency’s plans for recovery post lockdown and their progress. By the time this magazine is published that recovery plan should have been shared with trainers and other stakeholders but it’s no secret its contents will be focused on catching up on the backlog of theory and practical tests as a priority. We’ve taken the many questions, frustrations and concerns of members to each and every meeting, and emailed furiously in between, and shared as many responses as we’ve been able to get and we’ll continue to focus on that crucial role as we move forward. The problems didn’t stop when lockdown ended, in fact we emerged as an industry into more problems in many ways, so the pressure doesn’t let up either to try and resolve those problems.
Thirdly we met this month as the Motorcycle Strategic Focus Group. As with the overall government road safety strategy, this group is in the throes of discussing what the overall motorcycle safety strategy should be in the UK, what key focuses there should be – and again we’re pleased to be part of such an important process for the rider training industry – more updates from that soon.
So, as you can see, alongside all our other roles as the UK’s largest professional body for driver and rider training, like you we’re back on the road and motoring forward post lockdown.