Road Safety and the Legal Framework — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:45 am on 20th November 2018.

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Photo of John Lamont John Lamont Conservative, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk 9:45 am, 20th November 2018

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. There are too many tragic cases like that involving our constituents. I will come to that point later in my contribution.

Failure to stop means a motorist was involved in an accident with another vehicle or person and was aware of the incident, but drove off anyway, with no thought about the damage or hurt caused. However, it can also be used as a means to escape a more serious punishment, such as if a drunk driver fails to stop in order to sober up. Failure to stop is a serious offence that should be treated seriously. It needs to end and we need to increase the maximum penalty to be in line with the maximum penalty for dangerous driving.

Another relatively simple measure to improve road safety would be to look at car-dooring. I think most cyclists are aware of the danger or have had to swerve to avoid a door opening in their path. I have had to do that on a number of occasions. I welcome the Government’s announcement that The Highway Code will be reviewed to include the so-called Dutch reach, where people open a car door with the hand furthest from the door. I hope that that will be included as a requirement so that learner drivers are taught it as a standard part of their lessons and test.