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Charity urges government to maintain road safety standards in wake of Brexit

A leading safety charity has urged the government to pay close attention to the EU laws and regulations that help keep British roads safer and cleaner.

In its announcement, Brake highlighted the fact the UK is ‘currently assisted by European Commission regulations and requirements in a number of areas’ and that it is vital we maintain crash protection standards, driver working hours and air pollution limits.

Laws inherited from the European Commission included the General Safety Regulation, which sets out specifications to ensure the general safety of motor vehicles and their trailers, systems, component and separate technical units.

There is also the Pedestrian Safety Regulation, which ensures crash protection for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users by regulating the frontal crash protection systems to reduce the number and severity of injuries.

Another is said to: “Provides a common set of rules for maximum daily and fortnightly driving times, as well as daily and weekly minimum rest periods for all drivers of road haulage and passenger transport vehicles.”

Brake director of communications Gary Rae: “It’s vital that as we begin the process of separation from the EU, road safety and work on sustainable transport solutions is not compromised.

“Thousands of lives have been saved by improved transport regulations. Life outside the EU must not be seen as a move backwards when it comes to safety and sustainability.

“That will be down to the UK government to ensure that our own standards meet, and indeed, exceed, current European standards.  As a charity, working to save lives and protect the planet, Brake aims to play its part by being at the forefront of campaigning for these standards.”

Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and the government should be keen to maintain that, although some of the job will be done by cars from European manufacturers that will likely have to adhere to the relevant European Commission rules.

Pollution fears were also expressed, as Britain would have ‘no such compulsion’ to comply with nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter levels. Last year the Supreme Court imposed a ruling against London for failing to comply.

This is especially important as the World Health Organisation has called the world’s air quality problem a public health emergency that is said to be contributing to 5.5 million premature deaths around the world.

The UK is currently in a period of great uncertainty after the majority of voters asked to leave the EU, a result that caused Prime Minister David Cameron to announce he will be stepping down from his position. Current favourites to replace him include Boris Johnson and Theresa May.

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