Following an upswing in the number of drink-drive casualties in 2017 and no progress over the last seven years, IAM RoadSmart is calling on government to introduce an emergency package of measures to tackle the issue.
Measures being advocated by IAM RoadSmart include a further lowering of the drink-drive limit in England and Wales to match Scotland, wider use of drink-drive rehab courses and also following the example of Scotland by seizing the vehicles of repeat offenders.
Provisional estimates released today by the Department of Transport for 2017 show that between 240 and 330 people were killed in accidents in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, with a central estimate of 290 deaths. This represents about 16% of all deaths in reported road accidents in 2017, IAM RoadSmart pointed out.
The provisional estimate of fatalities for 2017 is the highest since 2009. An estimated 8,660 people were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “Once again progress on reducing the toll of death and injuries from drink-driving has stalled with a worrying increase in 2017.
“There is no one simple answer to reducing these figures but IAM RoadSmart believe we now need an emergency package of measures from the government including a lower drink-drive limit to reinforce good behaviour, fast-track of evidential roadside testing machines to release police resources and innovative approaches to help drivers with alcohol problems.
“Rehabilitation courses work and we think all those convicted of drink-driving should be sent on one automatically rather than having to opt in. More use of alcohol interlocks and extra penalties such as vehicle
forfeiture, as used in Scotland, could all be part of more joined-up approach to the problem.”