A former southwest police inspector is calling for road safety to be a key part of the school curriculum to reduce the number of accidents on our roads.

Olly Taylor, who recently retired after 30 years in the Police force, much of it in the roads policing, believes that drivers can get worse as they get older, becoming complacent and settled in bad habits, so would introduce more regular testing throughout a person’s life.

The Queen’s Police Medal recipient believes more education is needed to truly make an impact on road safety.

Olly says: “Education, I think would be the key for me. Looking at making it mandatory within the national curriculum, having road safety elements.”

“I think, by the time a young driver gets behind the wheel of a car at 17 or 18, they’ve actually already had a significant amount of driver training or exposure to driver behaviour through whoever has been taken them and driving around.”

“So parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older brothers and sisters, and they will start to pick up some really bad habits.

“Also, bring in a process of periodic retesting. You can pass your test at 17, and not have to be reassessed and retested until you’re in your 70s. That’s over 50 years and 50 years is a really long time to be able to establish some really bad habits and some very risky habits in driving.”

“The human body hasn’t evolved at the same pace that technology has evolved. We as human beings are not designed to be travelling along multilane carriageways at 70 miles an hour in a small tin box, we just aren’t designed that way and it’s going to take millions of years for the body to evolve properly to be as safe as possible.”

“Road safety is actually everybody’s responsibility. It’s not just the responsibility of the police or the local authority.”

Olly called time on his traffic career after attending the scene of a particularly upsetting accident involving a child. He has since being instrumental in a West Country scheme in the regional helping land key road safety messages with young drivers through their driving instructors.

He adds: “We use driving instructors to deliver a consistent set of road safety messages on behalf of the police, the fire service, local authority, because they’ve got the unique ability of being on a one-to-one with new drivers.”

“We can’t do that. We couldn’t do that in the police service. But, you know, the only other people who have one-to-one are parents, but actually how many young people that are listening what their parents say?”

You can listen to the full interview with Olly on the Driven by Excellence podcast at www.pdtfleettrainingsolutions.co.uk

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