Report on Motoring 2019

RAC successes

The RAC continues to stand up for the rights of drivers. Here are some of the successful changes to policy that we have played a part in over the last 12 months.

Red X enforcement

The RAC has long campaigned for improved safety on smart motorways so we were pleased this year that the Government pushed through legislation and type approval of cameras to begin prosecuting drivers who ignore ‘red X’ signals denoting closed lanes. This will ensure drivers stranded in dangerous positions and those working on the road, such as breakdown patrols, will have extra protection against those who ignore ‘red X’ signs.

Fuel duty freeze

Our 2018 Report on Motoring data showed concerns about the increasing amount drivers were spending on fuel, and led us to call on the Government to retain the fuel duty freeze. In the autumn Budget in October 2018, the-then Chancellor announced the planned rise in duty for 2019 would be cancelled.

Parking (Code of Practice) Act

Drivers told the RAC they wanted to see greater regulation of the private parking sector. We lobbied for a Bill to be introduced and were pleased to see the Bill pass onto the statute book in 2019. We continue to urge the Government to produce a final code to provide motorists with a fairer system.

Review of roads policing

The RAC’s research has shown consistent dissatisfaction with the lower number of roads traffic police officers. Our research has also shown that some motorists who break the law by using their handheld phones at the wheel do so because they feel they will be able to get away with it. We welcome the Government’s review into roads policing and encourage the review to look at numbers of officers and new enforcement technology.

Electric vehicle charging

Last year we called on the Government to increase the provision of electric vehicle charging and to put in place a set of common standards for charging points to encourage EV take-up. We are pleased the Government will be bringing forward mandatory new charge points on new homes, while we also welcome moves to introduce minimum technical standards and simplify access to public charge points as included in the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act.

Local roads funding

The findings from the 2018 Report on Motoring showed that the condition and maintenance of local roads was the top overall concern for drivers. We have campaigned for a better funding settlement to improve the condition of our local road network. We were pleased that our calls for additional funding were met by the-then Chancellor in the 2018 Budget. However, we continue to call for a long-term local roads funding solution. The Transport Select Committee’s Report in 2019 agreed that local roads need to be given the same long-term funding structure that strategic roads benefit from, as advocated by the RAC. We also welcome announcements by DfT this year to look at how to improve worn-out, unclear road markings, something we know is a growing concern among drivers.

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