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RoSPA welcomes news of a reduction in drink-drive deaths

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has welcomed the fall in drink-drive deaths which has just been reported.


Provisional statistics on accidents reported to the police involving drinking and driving in Britain in 2009, published yesterday by the Department for Transport, show that fatalities have fallen by five per cent to 380, from 400 in 2008. It is the first time drink-drive fatalities have fallen below 400 a year.


Seriously injured casualties fell by nine per cent from 1,620 in 2008 to 1,480 in 2009; slight casualties resulting from drink-drive accidents fell by eight per cent from 12,990 in 2008 to 11,990 last year.


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. Now we are in the second half of the year, our thoughts are turning to the fact that Christmas is a key time when it comes to road safety, and it is as important as ever to impress upon people that drink driving should not be an option.”


With the cuts in public spending announced recently and being felt across the board, it is important that any reduction in spending on road safety does not reverse this trend. RoSPA is urging the Government to implement the recommendations made by the North Review, published in June this year, which recommended that the drink-drive limit is lowered from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.


The North Review also concluded that the drug-driving problem was “out of all proportion” to the official figures. This is partly because it is often difficult to test for drug use, meaning many cases go unrecorded.


RoSPA has welcomed news that the Government has given the go-ahead for trialling new drug testing equipment over the next two years.


Clinton commented: “The drink driving campaign has been very successful in terms of reducing the acceptability of drink driving in society; we hope that before too long, the issue of drug driving will be brought front and centre, and that people will begin to see this selfish and dangerous practice as equally unacceptable.”

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