Traffic offences on the rise; but drink-drive and mobile phone convictions falling

10.12 | 9 May 2018 | | 5 comments

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.”


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    I agree with the previous comments – a decline in convictions does not tell us much except either fewer cases are being taken to court, or the defence is more effective.

    Nadeem Up North
    Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

    It has always been the case that insurance companies can step in and be stronger in their conditions of the policy. I have read just recently two articles in a training mag and it would appear that within the policy document are activities that drivers should not engage in whilst driving. Activities that would or could invalidate their insurance. Activities such as eating or drinking or phoning or smoking etc. Many of the activities that many other drivers see others doing every day and of which if in the event of an accident may invalidate ones insurance. It would also be that in the event of someone being involved in an accident say if speeding or committing any other road traffic offence for which they were successfully prosecuted for or other matters came to light like having no MOT then the insurer could legally deny any responsibility and refuse to pay out, leaving the driver to defend himself and financially liable for any loss suffered by a third party.

    I wish that they made these conditions more obvious and clearer and I believe that would have an effect of helping road safety in doing so.

    Bob Craven
    Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

    I have to echo Keiths comments, this quantative data alone tells us very little and any road safety organisation should use it with great caution when sharing it with the public.

    Chris Harrison, bristol
    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

    The risks of being prosecuted when involved in an incident when using a mobile phone and driving is very high.

    The actual chance of being caught when using a mobile phone while driving if no incident occurs is almost negligible.

    With reports of some 200 a day possibly being prosecuted compared to the perhaps some 12 billion + annual actual unrecorded offences of mobile phone use while driving.

    The perception of the general motoring public who use mobiles when driving is it won’t happen to them and they wont get caught.

    Agree (11) | Disagree (0)

    Considering the decline in roads policing and the presence of police on the roads, a decline in prosecutions can not be taken that the message of drink driving and mobile phone use is working.

    Could it not be that the offenders are not being picked up as they were before?

    If drink drive deaths are flatlining it could be suggested those less influenced by drink drive are not coming to the attention of the police due to their actions not being identified.

    Agree (17) | Disagree (0)

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