Drink drive casualties lower than ever

Drink drive casualties lower than ever

The number of people seriously injured or killed in drink-drive incidents is lower than ever, provisional Government figures suggest.

The RAC says high-profile awareness campaigns are helping to bring about a reduction in those seriously injured on the roads. Ministers should learn from this and apply similar initiatives to child road safety, in the recent wake of increased casualties there.

The amount of people hurt in drink-drive incidents in 2013 fell by 17% to 8,290, compared to the previous year, according to the Department for Transport's (DfT) latest figures.

The DfT predicts the number of people badly hurt or killed in such incidents will be the lowest yet, if verified when the final tallies are released.

The amount of people badly hurt in drink-drive-related incidents dropped from 1,200 to 1,100 between 2012 and 2013, it added.

But the amount of fatalities in such accidents is growing, with Government estimates calculating 260 deaths across 2013 - a rise of 13% on the 230 recorded the year before.

The DfT said this is "statistically insignificant" because of uncertainty surrounding the estimates.

The department's figures also show that 5.9% of motorists claim they still drive when they think they may be exceeding the legal alcohol-driving ceiling. The 20-24 age group is most likely to do this.

Simon Williams, spokesman for the RAC, said: "These estimates indicate a further reduction in the number of reported accidents and casualties caused by drink driving.

"In nine years, accidents, casualties and fatalities as a result of drink driving have all halved in the UK - which is huge progress."

Mr Williams continued: "Drink-driving is the one topic that is still subject to regular high profile national and regional awareness-raising campaigns, and it appears hard-hitting messages from these are resonating with drivers.

"Is there a message for Government here?

"Long-term investment in campaigns to make our roads safer can have a tangible, positive impact.

"With figures released last week showing a broader increase in road casualties, especially those involving children, is there a place for more campaigns to help drive road casualty figures down still further?"

Copyright Press Association 2015