Checking for breathing
New parliament bill seeks to force new drivers to obtain life-saving skills before qualifying for full license. An MP is seeking to introduce a new bill in parliament that would make first aid training a mandatory requirement before receiving a driving licence.
The Driving Licence (Mandatory First Aid Training) Bill has been presented to the House of Commons by Will Quince, Conservative MP for Colchester.The bill, backed by the British Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance, calls for new drivers to undergo a four-hour practical first-aid course before they can be granted a licence.

So often there isn’t time for an ambulance to arrive, knowledge of first aid can be absolutely critical

Will Quince, MP

Quince says that if added to the statute book, his bill could reduce road deaths in the UK and increase knowledge among the population of important life-saving skills.He bases this claim on a recent survey conducted on behalf of St John Ambulance, which found that 59% of respondents didn’t feel confident enough to save a life, while 24%, if they found themselves at the scene of a road traffic collision, wouldn’t take any action until an ambulance arrived.

If introduced, this legislation wouldn’t be unique: a number of countries – including Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Austria – have similar laws in place. Switzerland, for example, requires new drivers to prove that they have had at least 10 hours of first-aid training in order to qualify for their driving theory test.

When presenting his bill, 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.”