Transport Committee hears from SMMT on road safety

02 May 2008 #SMMT News

On Wednesday, Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, gave evidence to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee as part of its inquiry into road safety. The contribution of the automotive industry to reducing road casualties and injury rates was highlighted during the course of the hearing. He outlined a number of vehicle safety technologies that are currently available in the market place but stressed that financial incentives, such as reductions in insurance premiums, are needed to promote their uptake among consumers. With the upcoming tailpipe CO2 emissions regulation in mind, SMMT highlighted that environmental and safety regulations sometimes give rise to competing demands that need to be balanced.

The European Commission’s regular car price survey released this week shows that UK prices fell by 1% last year. This compares dramatically with the increases in fuel prices, VED and insurance faced by most motorists. Raising the cost of motoring is frequently claimed to encourage environmental advancements. Yet the greatest gains in environmental performance, safety and security have been delivered by vehicle and component manufacturers. The investment in new technology, commitment to quality and productivity means that real and measurable improvements have been delivered at a fraction of the cost of environmental taxes.

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