IAM RoadSmart says the dangers of drink-driving and mobile phones are ‘finally sinking in’, with analysis of DfT figures showing a decline in the number of convictions for the offences.
However, despite these reductions, IAM RoadSmart says there has been a ‘huge’ 52% increase in the number of dangerous driving convictions between 2013 and 2016.
IAM RoadSmart analysis of DfT data for England and Wales shows 39,000 drink-drive convictions in 2016 – 10% fewer than in 2013 when the figure stood at 43,000.
The 2016 figure is also 50% lower than in 2006, when there were 78,029 drink drive convictions.
But with deaths caused by drink-driving currently ‘flatlining’, IAM RoadSmart says there is still a need for ‘well targeted anti drink-drive campaigns’.
The DfT data also shows 13,847 convictions for mobile phone offences in 2016; 57% fewer than 2011 when 32,404 drivers were convicted for the offence.
However, there has been a big increase in convictions for the offence of ‘failing to supply information as to identity of driver when required’ – for which there was 82,029 convictions in 2016 (up from 12,056 in 2006).
IAM RoadSmart says this is likely to be linked to increased forms of surveillance leading to more requests to confirm the identity of the driver.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “This will be good news for motorists who have been concerned for a long time about the level of convictions for the most dangerous motorists.
“It also shows that the most serious motoring offences are being taken seriously by the courts – even though there is a long way to go an increased certainty of conviction might get some drivers out of the mindset of thinking they can get away with drink or drug driving or using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel of a car.”