Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has called on communities to join the fight against drink-driving, as government figures show the number of drink-drive casualties to have reached a four-year high.
Department of Transport statistics announced yesterday revealed an estimated 9,040 people were killed or injured on Britain’s roads in 2016 in crashes where a driver was over the alcohol limit, up 7% on 2015.
This is the highest level of drink-drive casualties in reported road accidents since 2012 and represents around one in 20 of all casualties in reported road accidents in 2016.
The figures also show an estimated 230 people died in drink-drive crashes during the year, up from 200 in 2015.
IAM RoadSmart has called for an increase in resources for police to apprehend drink drivers, as well as an increased focus on those caught on persistent drink-drive reoffending and those dramatically over the limit.
It also called on the public to stop their friends and loved ones from getting behind the wheel after drinking – even taking away their keys if they have to.
Rebecca Ashton, head of driver behaviour at IAM RoadSmart, said: “These figures are very disappointing. It is not just the job of the police to stop drink-driving – we can all play a part.
“Often those who drink heavily do so in the company of others – we all cannot turn a blind eye while those same people pick up their car keys and head off home.
“If we really care for our friends and family, we should do our utmost to stop them from taking such dangerous and potentially fatal actions – it takes nothing to offer them a bed for the night, and only allow them back into their car after a safe period the morning after.”