Road Safety GB has described the increase in drink drive related deaths in 2016 as ‘naturally worrying’.
Figures published by the DfT on 9 August shows that there were 230 drink-drive related deaths in Great Britain during 2016, a year-on-year rise of 15%.
The figures also show that an estimated 9,040 people were killed or injured in drink-drive collisions, representing a rise of 7% from 8,470 in 2015 – and the highest number since 2012.
The total number of collisions where at least one driver or rider was over the alcohol limit also rose, up 6% to 6,070.
Steve Horton, director of communications at Road Safety GB, said: “Whilst this data is for 2016 and as yet we can’t see anything more recent, that drink drive crashes have increased is naturally worrying. The impact on 9,000 lives illustrates the significant human cost to what is essentially a selfish and arrogant act by a minority of drivers.
“No driver can claim to be unaware of the existence of a legal limit even if they cannot know when they have reached it, and yet some still choose to run the risk of judging what that limit may be or indeed just ignore its presence.
“Drivers might get caught out the morning after having tried to do the right thing by not driving on a night out, but even this should be planned for.
“However, what is always a source of amazement to me is the ignorance or sheer arrogance of drivers who think it is either acceptable to drink and drive or that it is nothing to be concerned about. Thankfully these drivers are in the minority and most of these are out and out violators who will only respond to a sharp enforcement activity or when they are involved in a serious crash.
“The message to the majority that has evolved over the past 50 years, seeks to remind them that its not how much you can drink before driving, but how little it takes to affect you; you don’t have to be drunk to be dangerous. Research clearly shows that even small amounts of alcohol will affect the ability to drive safely and thankfully the majority of drivers now understand this.
“For these drivers the fear of detection is still a key motivator to maintain what they know is the right thing to do – but for the violators there may never be enough enforcement deterrent to ensure they don’t run the risk, so some still learn through a serious, life changing experience; the worry for the rest of us is that violators often impact on innocent lives.
“Reducing the UK’s drink driving limit would reaffirm that drink driving is a serious issue and that its how little not how much that creates unnecessary risk on the road, and it would help to further isolate violators making their behaviour even more obvious to the rest of us and easier to detect.”
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09 August 2018