Has drink driving lost its ‘socially unacceptable' stigma?
With an increase in drink drive deaths in 2011, the IAM has questioned whether drink driving has lost its “socially unacceptable” stigma.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, is calling for higher profile drink drive campaigns backed by more enforcement.
The IAM says that figures published in ‘Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2011’ show that more than half the increase in road deaths in 2011 were alcohol related.
Other figures from the annual report include: 9,990 reported road casualties occurred when someone was driving while over the legal limit; 1,570 people were killed or seriously injured in drink drive collisions, an increase of 5% compared to 2010; 70% of pedestrians, 71% of cyclists, 58% of car drivers and 43% of motorcyclists killed after 10pm were over the drink-drive limit; and 17-24 year-olds are more than twice as likely to be involved in a drink drive collision as any other age group.
In contrast to the above, the number of convictions for drink driving fell from 58,700 in 2010 to 54,900 in 2011.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, 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.”
For more information contact the IAM on 020 8996 9777.