The IAM is calling for drink-drive campaigns and enforcement to be a top priority after detailed figures released by the government in September showed increases in drink-related deaths and injuries on Britain's roads.
In 2011, 280 people were killed in drink-drive accidents − 12 per cent more than the 250 in 2010. In the same period, the total number of road deaths increased from 1,850 in 2010 to 1,901 in 2011, an increase of 51 fatalities. This means that more than half of the increase in road deaths were alcohol related (30 deaths).
Other drink-driving figures for 2011 are:
- 9,990 reported road casualties occurred when someone was driving whilst over the legal limit
- 1,570 people were killed or seriously injured in drink-drive accidents, an increase of five per cent
- Seventy per cent of pedestrians and 71 per cent of cyclists killed after 10pm were over the drink-drive limit. Fifty-eight per cent of car drivers and 43 per cent of motorcyclists killed after 10pm were over the limit
- 17−24 year-olds are more than twice as likely to be involved in a drink-drive accident as any other age group. They are 20 times more likely to be a drink-drive accident than someone over 60
- Of the 13,000 drivers found to be over the legal limit after a crash, 40 per cent were more than twice the limit.
In the same year, the number of convictions for drink-driving fell to 54,900 from 58,700 in 2010, a decrease of 3,800.
IAM Chief Executive Simon Best said: "With fewer traffic police on the road, fewer convictions and more deaths, it is clear that it's not just Scotland that needs to have a broad debate on drink-driving.
"With 'beat the breathalyser' pills legally on sale in the UK and the disproportionate number of younger drink-drivers, I'm worried that drink-driving may be losing its stigma.
We must act now to stop last year's increase becoming a trend through the use of higher profile drink-driving campaigns − and not just at Christmas − backed up with enforcement targeting those drivers who cause death and injury, as well as the distress and grief of friends and family. Drivers need to know that they will get caught if they mix alcohol and driving."
Posted October 8th, 2012 at 1450 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org