Plans ‘are a boost for road safety’

A Government proposal to invest millions of pounds into road safety in 2016 has been welcomed by Northumbria Police.

The Department for Transport (DFT) plans include giving money to forces to build drug-driving capabilities and helping learner drivers to be even better prepared before their test, including the chance to gain motorway experience with an approved driving instructor.

This follows an announcement last month to introduce a deposit that is returned to the learner driver if they pass, encouraging them to take their test when they are ready.

Northumbria Police chief inspector John Heckels said: “This announcement is great news for road safety and, as a force, we fully support what the DFT is trying to achieve.

“The measures build on what we have already been doing here in the Northumbria force area with Operation Dragoon.

“We’ve had representatives from other forces in England come up to the area to speak to us and look at the work we are doing as it’s being so well received and is really making a difference on our roads.”

Other measures identified in the plans include funding to train the next generation of cyclists.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “I fully support these measures to help improve the safety of our roads and am pleased in Northumbria we’ve been successful in our bids for police innovation funding to improve the skills of young drivers and tackle drug-driving in the region.

“While these measures are welcomed, we must remember that the best deterrent is a greater police presence on our roads – something constantly under threat due to budget cuts.”