’We’re calling on the government to adopt the vehicle general safety regulations to help significantly improve safety for drivers,’ says chief executive

A group of senior road safety leaders and insurers have urged the new Labour government to introduce the latest vehicle general safety regulation updates.

In an open letter to transport secretary Louise Haigh, experts said that action had to be taken to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads every year.

The signatories said the letter had been timed to coincide with the second anniversary of the vehicle general safety regulations being introduced in the EU.

Such measures include advanced emergency braking, intelligent speed assistance and an attention warning in case of driver drowsiness.

Signatories include Alain Zweibrucker, retail chief executive of Axa UK, Dr Neale Kinnear, head of behavioural insights at Aon, Thatcham Research chief executive Jonathan Hewett and AA president Edmund King.

“These safety features can play a significant role in improving road safety, helping to prevent crashes and therefore protect drivers and their passengers, as well as other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists,” the letter said.

“In addition to these driver assistance features, there are key measures that improve vehicle crash performance.”


This came after research conducted by road safety charity Brake and Axa UK last year showed that 63% of drivers were willing to pay more for safety features that would protect themselves and their passengers.

More than two-thirds of drivers also said that intelligent speed assistance, advanced emergency braking and driver-drowsiness detection should be mandatory for all new vehicles in the UK.

“If the aviation or rail industry had the same safety record as roads, planes would be grounded and trains would be stopped,” the letter added.

“It is time to make good on the promises you made in the run up to election and deliver a new strategic road safety framework to address the terrible toll of death and injury.

“We want to work with the government to support the delivery of safer vehicles that will protect drivers and all road users and, ultimately, improve safety on roads across Britain.”

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, told Insurance Times that he hoped the new government would take a positive approach to the letter.

“It is very early days for the new government,” he said.

“However, this was an issue which has been supported by the Labour party in the past so we are hopeful that there will be a positive response.”

Zweibrucker added: “Road crashes claim thousands of lives in the UK every year, so we’re calling on the government to adopt the vehicle general safety regulations to help significantly improve safety for drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike.

”Implementing mandatory vehicle safety features such as intelligent speed assistance and advanced emergency braking can help prevent crashes and protect road users.

“As an insurance provider, we understand the importance of protecting what matters and Axa remains committed to prioritising road safety and promoting responsible driving habits.

”These regulations have the potential to prevent many avoidable tragedies on our roads and safeguard lives, which is something we wholeheartedly support.”