Drink driving road traffic accidents down, reports DfT

Published: 15/08/2011

Fatal, serious and slight road traffic accidents caused by drink driving are all down, according to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) report “Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2010 provisional estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol level”.

The paper, released on 4 August 2011, reported a 35 per cent decrease in road traffic fatalities, an 18 per cent decline in serious injuries and a 19 per cent drop in slight injuries caused by drink-drive incidents.

Transport Minister, Norman Baker said:

“The provisional figures for 2010 suggest the number of drink-drive deaths is now 83 per cent lower than 30 years ago. This is very welcome.”¹

Yet despite these promising figures, results from The Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) summer drink and drug driving campaign tell a very different and much sadder story.

This campaign saw an eight per cent rise in the amount of drivers who tested positive for drink and/or drugs. More worrying, there was a 15 per cent increase in the number of young drivers who tested positive for the same offence. 6.06 per cent of drivers tested during June either tested positive, or refused or failed a breath test, an increase against the figures taken at the same time last year.

ACPO’s lead on roads policing, Chief Constable Phil Gormley, said:

“The figures clearly demonstrate that if you drink and drive you are significantly more likely to be involved in a collision and lose your licence. It is worrying that young drivers continue to drink and drive and we will be redoubling out efforts to address this unacceptable behaviour.

“We view this as an important area for casualty reduction and will continue to pursue motorists who drive whilst under the influence of [drink and] drugs, endangering their fellow road users.”¹

¹Road Safety GB (August 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

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