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Calls for Government to reinstate road safety campaigns

The latest RAC Report on Motoring has found that the number of 17-24-year-olds drug-driving has doubled from 5% to 9% in the past twelve months, and 13% of this age group have driven or been a passenger in a car when the driver was under the influence of drugs over the past year.

There has also been a 50% increase in the number of 25-44-year-olds using their smartphones to access email, Facebook and Twitter behind the wheel since last year’s report. The findings follow a two year period in which only one high profile road safety campaign has been run by Government.

Spending by the Department for Transport on road safety campaigns dropped from £18.6m in 2009/10 to just £2.34m in 2010/11. In light of this 87% decrease and this year’s report findings, RAC has called on the Coalition to reintroduce these campaigns as soon as possible to highlight the dangers of these illegal behaviours behind the wheel.

Overall, the cost of motoring remains the number one issue for motorists. However, worries about road safety and the behaviour of other drivers have shot up drivers’ list of concerns in 2012.

Three of the top five concerns that drivers hold are related to the behaviour of other motorists. Levels of concern about drink-driving, mobile phone usage, drug-driving and the number of accidents on the road have all risen compared to 2011. In contrast, concerns about the condition of the roads, congestion and preparations for bad winter weather have all fallen

.This anxiety about road safety means that nearly half of motorists (44%) say they feel less safe on the roads in 2012 than they ever have previously. In contrast, only a fifth (22%) say they feel safer today.

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