Figures released by the DfT last week show a 5% fall in fatalities resulting from drink driving, and a 16% reduction in the number of fatalities in the year to 31 March 2010.
Drink drive fatalities fell from 400 in 2008 to 380 in 2009 – the first time the figure has ever fallen below 400 – while seriously injured casualties fell by 9% from 1,620 to 1,480. Slight casualties fell by 8% from 10,960 to 10,130. Total casualties also fell by 8% from 12,990 to 11,990.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “This reduction in casualty figures is very encouraging, and we are pleased that the message that driving while under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and irresponsible seems to be getting through. However, there is still much more work to be done – 380 people did not return home last year because of a drink driving accident."
RoSPA also stressed that with the cuts in public spending announced recently, it is important that any reduction in spending on road safety does not reverse this trend.
Provisional estimates also published last week by the DfT show the number of fatalities were down 16% for the 12 months ending March 2010, compared to the previous 12 months.
It must be remembered, however, that the severe winter weather during the first quarter of 2010 will have restricted road traffic and the number of journeys made.
Total casualties were also down 3%, and killed and seriously injured casualties down by 6%, compared with the previous 12 months.
Click here to read the DfT news release about the casualty figures to March 2010.
Click here to read the DfT news release about the drive drive figures.