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Road Safety Bill falls foul of election
The announcement of the General Election on 5 May means that the Road Safety Bill will not now reach the statute book. The Bill had completed all its stages in the House of Commons but had not begun its passage through the House of Lords, and thus has become a casualty of the Parliamentary timetable.
"Some may say that the fall of the Bill is no bad thing since it will allow further debate about the issue of graduated penalties for speeding offences - the aspect of the Bill that was the most controversial," says Robert Gifford, PACTS executive director. "While that is true, we should not overlook the fact that there were some other measures in the Bill - training for emergency vehicle drivers, for example - that we would not wish to lose in the long term."
Two key measures in the Bill have been incorporated into the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, which will receive Royal Assent at the end of this Parliamentary session. Amendments tabled, with all-party support, to include evidential roadside breath testing and access to the Motor Insurance Database were accepted by the government at committee stage in the House of Lords. They returned as government amendments on 6 April, and are now written into the Bill.
"In the next Parliament, PACTS will press for the reinstatement of the Road Safety Bill," Robert Gifford adds. "The measures that it contained were an important contribution to the continuing aim to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads."