Drink drive stats lead to calls for action from stakeholders
Final figures for 2014 show that 240 people were killed in collisions where at least one driver was over the drink drive limit in Great Britain, unchanged from 2013.
A number of stakeholders have expressed disappointment over the figures and are calling for more to be done to tackle the issue of drink driving.
Released yesterday (4 August), the figures mean that around 13% of all road deaths in 2014 were drink drive related, again unchanged from a year earlier.
The figures do however show a statistically significant decrease in the number of seriously injured casualties in drink drive collisions, which fell by 3% to 1,070.
In terms of gender, 77% of those killed or seriously injured (KSI) by drink-drive collisions during 2014 were male.
Focusing on longer term trends, the DfT says that due to the uncertainty associated with drink drive deaths, it cannot be concluded that there has been any change in drink drive deaths since 2010.
The report also publishes first provisional estimates for 2015 which suggest there were between 200 and 290 deaths in drink drive accidents.
The RAC is calling for a renewed effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related road deaths.
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, said: “We need as a society to break through this plateau and once again consistently reduce needless, alcohol-related road deaths in the coming years.
“That means both renewed efforts from law enforcement and changes in attitudes from individual motorists who are prepared to break the law in this way, as well as their families and friends who may be able to prevent them getting behind the wheel.”
PACTS describes the figures as worrying and has also called for stronger action to be taken, including a full analysis of the impact of the lower limit in Scotland.
David Davies, executive director, said: “PACTS supports an increase in drink-drive education and publicity by the DfT, more support from the pub and drink industry to promote alcohol-free drinks and named driver campaigns, and better enforcement of drink driving by the police.”
The road safety charity Brake says ‘decisive action’ is required to overcome the ‘stagnation’ in the figures.
Lucy Amos, research advisor for Brake, said: “The statistics reveal a worrying level of stagnation in the number of people killed because of drink-driving, with the numbers remaining unchanged since the previous year.
“Drink-drive fatalities have now remained almost static since 2009 and it’s clear that decisive action is urgently needed to achieve further reductions in deaths and injuries.”
IAM RoadSmart says after decades of good progress, the disappointing plateau seen over the last five years is not acceptable.
Tim Shallcross, head of technical policy at IAM RoadSmart, said: “The Government must get to grips with five years of disappointing figures now. It needs to show stronger leadership to really drive down road deaths and serious injuries in the future.
“More action on drink driving, more on-road enforcement of driving standards and more publicity and education are urgently needed if we are to return to the gains made before 2010."