The latest drink-drive figures from the Department for Transport issued today (28 August) have revealed a disappointing lack of forward progress – and road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has again called for a long-term plan to tackle the issue in a meaningful package of measures.
The figures show that in 2017 (the latest full year statistics are available) there were 220 fatal crashes where alcohol was a factor – no change from the previous year (reference 1).
The figures also showed 1,110 serious crashes, up by 100 on the previous year. There were 8,600 total casualties from road crashes, which although down from the previous year’s total of 9,040, is up on the figures from 2013-5.
Measures being advocated by IAM RoadSmart include a further lowering of the drink-drive limit in England and Wales to match Scotland, wider use of drink-drive rehabilitation courses and also following the example of Scotland by seizing the vehicles of repeat offenders.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “It is truly disappointing to find yet another year of very little progress. Successive changes in government means we do not get the continuity or the focus that is required to create a long-term plan that will tackle this in a structured and cohesive way.
“There is no one simple answer to reducing these figures, but IAM RoadSmart believes we now need an emergency package of measures from the government including a lower drink-drive limit to reinforce good behaviour, the fast-tracking of evidential roadside testing machines to release police resources, as well as the introduction of innovative approaches to help drivers with alcohol problems.
“Rehabilitation courses work and we think all those convicted of drink-driving should be sent on one automatically rather than having to opt in. More use of alcohol interlocks and extra penalties such as vehicle forfeiture, as used in Scotland, could all be part of more joined-up approach to the problem, ultimately leading to fewer needless deaths on our roads.”
Notes to editors:
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IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com
To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit: https://wwwiamroadsmart.com/local-groups