Road Safety News

Bill would make first aid compulsory for new drivers

Thursday 10th March 2016

A new Bill which would make first aid training mandatory to receive a driving licence has been introduced to Parliament.

The Driving Licence (Mandatory First Aid Training) Bill was presented to the House of Commons by Will Quince, Conservative MP for Colchester, on 8 March.

With the backing of the British Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance, the Bill calls for prospective drivers to undergo a four-hour practical first-aid course run by an approved provider before they can be granted a licence.

Mr Quince says that the move has the potential to reduce road deaths and boost knowledge of life-saving skills.

He cites a St John Ambulance survey which found that 59% of people would not feel confident enough to save a life, while 24% of people at the scene of an accident would do nothing until an ambulance arrived.

Countries including Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Austria currently have similar laws in place. In Switzerland, prospective drivers must prove they have received at least 10 hours of certified first-aid training in order to qualify for a driving theory test.

In presenting his Bill to Parliament, Mr Quince said: “A review of road traffic in Europe cited by the World Health Organisation claims that 50% of deaths from road collisions occurred within a few minutes of the crash.

“So often there isn’t time for an ambulance to arrive, knowledge of first aid can be absolutely critical. Immediate initiation of CPR for example can double or even quadruple survival from cardiac arrest.

“But the sad reality is that in Britain the knowledge of first aid is patchy. Through no fault of their own, people do not feel confident enough to intervene and provide first aid in crash and accident situations.”


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I like the idea, in principle. However, there are some things that need to be looked at. i.e. Who would be responsible for listing the content to be taught on such a course? The minimum time for the Emergency First Aid at Work course, a certified course, is 1 day (6 hours) covering DRSABCD, BLS, choking, minor wounds and bleeding and shock. Also, who would accredit the course and supply the certification?
Pete, Hertfordshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

If it takes approx 40 hours to pass a driving test, then still learning.. 4 hours to teach first aid, that could lead to poor judgement and possible legal proceedings. This is not a good bill.
Richard, Dorset

Agree (3) | Disagree (5)

Also, compulsory cyclist training for learner drivers, so that they better understand the needs and behaviour of cyclists, might reduce the need to put such first-aid training into practice.
Andy, Birmingham

Agree (7) | Disagree (12)

More knowledge for learners is always a good thing but perhaps compulsory motorway lessons with an approved instructor would prevent some of these accidents that might then need first aid. Proactive not reactive.
Tracy Geeves

Agree (21) | Disagree (3)

Plus 45 hrs compulsory driver training.
David, Lincolnshire

Agree (12) | Disagree (4)

In principal it's a good idea but the cynical side of me thinks it's another government cop out. Emergency services are fully stretched and instead of passing responsibility to the public he should be spending his time sourcing funding for our struggling emergency services.
Les Britton Lincs

Agree (7) | Disagree (9)

Another new initiative from Bill I see. He's been making the RSGB's news feed headlines a lot lately, though he does seem to look different each time.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

I think that this is an excellent idea. Possibly one small change though would be the need to attend a refresher course every ten years when you have to renew your licence.
Might be unpopular however if the general public have to fund it themselves.
Iain (Scotland)

Agree (14) | Disagree (2)

All persons should undergo some first aid training so why not start with drivers? Some schools do not include it as a voluntary subject. When I was undertaking the RAC/ACU training scheme we were fortunate to take some lessons on keeping ourselves and others alive in the event of an accident in those days. I later took up First Aid on a more professional basis and instructed/examined candidates and assisted in their promotion. I found it an extremely useful skill.
R.Craven, Blackpool

Agree (17) | Disagree (3)