After an upswing in 2017 and no overall progress over the last seven years in reducing the number of casualties caused by drink-driving, the country’s largest independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart is calling for the government to introduce an emergency package of measures to tackle this important issue.
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 rehab courses and also following the example of Scotland by seizing the vehicles of repeat offenders.
Provisional estimates released today (14 February) by the Department of Transport for 2017 (reference 1) show that between 240 and 330 people were killed in accidents in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, with a central estimate of 290 deaths. This represents about 16% of all deaths in reported road accidents in 2017.
The provisional estimate of fatalities for 2017 is the highest since 2009. An estimated 8,660 people were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “Once again progress on reducing the toll of death and injuries from drink-driving has stalled with a worrying increase in 2017.
“There is no one simple answer to reducing these figures but IAM RoadSmart believe we now need an emergency package of measures from the government including a lower drink-drive limit to reinforce good behaviour, fast-track of evidential roadside testing machines to release police resources and 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.”
Notes to editors:
Further information from:
IAM RoadSmart press office – 020 8996 9777 – firstname.lastname@example.org
ISDN broadcast lines available
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/IAMRoadSmart
On Twitter: @IAMRoadSmart
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 more about IAM RoadSmart’s Driver Retraining Academy visit www.iamdra.org.uk
To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit: https://wwwiamroadsmart.com/local-groups