Highways England launch app to boost road safety
Road safety could be dramatically boosted due to the launch of a brand new app designed by Highways England and supported by the DVLA and police chiefs.
Road safety could be improved by the new tool which helps drivers ensure their car or van is roadworthy after being unused for weeks. The tool also helps motorists properly sanitise their vehicle to ensure germs are not picked up while behind the wheel.
The Ready for the Road? app sends driver safety checks to a portal where employers can help deal with maintenance or repair issues.
The new app is completely free of charge to use and has been designed to ensure the safe return of employees to firms.
Checklists with vital coronavirus symptoms will also be included so motorists can check whether they are fit to drive.
Sections will also be made available to include any photographic evidence of defects or damage to help report issues or save images for garages to assess concerns.
The app has been built by Driving for Better Business, a government backed Highways England programme.
Simon Turner, Campaign Manager for the group, has warned vehicles cannot be put straight back on the road after being sat idle during lockdown.
He warned cars would need to go through a detailed inspection to ensure they are roadworthy while drivers also need to make sure they are prepared.
He confirms a series of 12 animations in the app will help prepare drivers for new road challenges including how to deal with a rise in the number of cyclists on the road.
Mr Turner said: “Cars and vans that haven’t been used for many weeks because businesses have been non-operational can’t simply be put straight back on the road, and need a thorough inspection.
“Tyres could very likely have lost pressure, a small leak could have drained fluids, and even rodents could have caused problems by chewing through the vehicle’s wiring.
“As the lockdown is lifted, employers need to make sure vehicles are roadworthy before they’re driven again to avoid breakdowns and the increased risk of accidents.
“Drivers, too, need to make sure they’re prepared. Having been used to no more than the occasional trip to the shops on an empty road, traffic is now starting to increase to more normal levels.
“That readjusting will take time and they will also need to be alert to the increased number of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists as many commuters take to the road instead of public transport.”
The RAC has warned MOT test extensions may have led to more unroadworthy vehicles on UK roads, especially as traffic levels increase.
Last month, Kwik Fit predicted test suspensions would lead to more than one million unroadworthy vehicles left on UK streets as cars could not be banned
Driving in a vehicle which is considered to be in a dangerous condition could see motorists issued fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points.
However, costs could rise in extreme cases if motorists are considered to have put themselves or other road users in danger.
Police officers have also backed the new initiative to ensure motorists get back behind the wheel in a safe manner.
Paul Keasey, Detective Chief Superintendent and member of the National Roads Policing Operations and Intelligence has backed the proposals.
Mr Keasey says police officers deal with a “significant number” of incidents which may be avoidable which looks set to reduce pressure away from forces.
He said: “Police officers across the country deal with a significant number of incidents that are completely avoidable.
“The Ready for the Road? app will enable employers to ensure the safety of their vehicles and their drivers as we return to a new normal, and I am delighted to support this resource and the wider Driving for Better Business Programme.”