Parliamentary Questions: 10-14th February

Parliamentary Questions: 10-14th February

11th February

Cycling: Safety

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 19 December 2013, Official Report, column 746W, on cycle safety, if he will publish a breakdown of spending on cycling in each of the last five years.

Mr Goodwill: The breakdown of funding on cycling over this administration from 2010 to present is as follows: click here for more details.

Driving: Licensing

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of requiring new drivers to display a probationary plate on the vehicle they are driving for three years after qualification.

 Mr Goodwill: None. There is no probationary period for new drivers and no requirement to display a ‘P’ plate. However, the Transport Research Laboratory Report on “Novice Drivers: Evidence review and Evaluation Pre-Driver Training, Graduated Driver Licensing” made a number of recommendations on novice driver safety. One recommendation was that on successful completion of the driving test a driver would be permitted to progress to a probationary licence from age 18. During the 12 month (minimum) probationary licence the driver would be required to display a green ‘P’ plate to identify their licence status and aid enforcement of other recommended restrictions.

Motorcycles: Safety

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to launch road safety educational programmes to prevent death and injury for motorcyclists in the next year.

Mr Goodwill: The Department is exploring how best to develop a THINK! campaign that reminds drivers to look longer for all vehicles, including motorcyclists, at junctions.

We know that motorcyclists losing control is a leading cause in fatalities. Hence our emphasis on working in partnership with motorcycling retailers and stakeholders, as highlighted through our ‘Stay in control’ campaign. We will continue to engage with motorcyclists through our digital and social channels, for example, we have developed a THINK! Biker Facebook group, which engages a large community of bikers to communicate road safety messages.

10th February

Driving Under the Influence: Drugs

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on incorporating legal highs in the remit of drug-driving offences.

Mr Goodwill: We have not had any specific representations other than a number of respondents to the Government’s consultation on the drugs and their limits to be specified in regulations should also include so called “legal highs”. We will be publishing our response to the consultation shortly.

The new section 5A offence in the Road Traffic Act 1988 only allows specifying drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) 1971. The Home Office has an existing regime to consider the risks that any new drug may present to the public. Specifying drugs not controlled under the MDA would by-pass that regime. In addition, the expert panel recommended the drugs that are most evident in drug driving after extensively reviewing the evidence. The Government believes that it is right to proceed with the evidence as it currently exists and monitor the new offence as we intend to do.

The Department will continue to gather and review evidence on which drugs are found in the driving population, so that this can be reflected in any future revisions to the regulations. Any driver who is impaired by any drug including so called “legal highs” not covered in section 5A can still be prosecuted under the existing section 4 “impairment” offence.

Roads: Capital Investment

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of roads capital spending by his Department was spent on facilities primarily aimed at (a) motor vehicles, (b) pedestrians and (c) cyclists in the last year.

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport is providing capital funding through a number of funding streams that benefit highways and provide facilities for road users, including (a) motorists, (b) cyclists and (c) pedestrians. The Department for Transport does not centrally hold information on what proportion of this funding is spent on each.

Water Sports: Accidents

Sarah Newton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of current powers of harbour authorities for preventing accidents involving jet skis.

Stephen Hammond: Harbour authorities can do much to prevent accidents involving personal watercraft by working with local user groups and hire companies to encourage the safe and competent use of such vessels. They can also draw on advice published by national organisations, such as the Royal Yachting Association’s Safety Advisory Notice for recreational mariners which was published in January. The combination of existing national legislation and well-crafted harbour byelaws provides adequate coverage for deterring or prosecuting misdemeanours.

For more information click here

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