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Drink Driving Still a Major Cause of Road Casualties

Britain is still failing to adequately tackle its drink driving problem, leading to too many deaths and serious injuries on the roads, road safety charity Brake has warned.

The charity has reiterated its call for a zero-tolerance drink drive limit, in response to Government figures showing that 240 people were killed by drivers over the legal drink drive limit in 2013, while provisional estimates suggest at least that number were killed again in 2014.

The figures show that the profile of Britain’s illegal drink drivers has remained largely the same:

  • Three quarters (74%) of those killed and seriously injured are male.
  • More than three in ten (31%) drivers killed aged 25 to 39 are over the drink drive limit – the highest of any age group.
  • A quarter of drink drive deaths and serious injuries result from crashes where a young driver (17-24 years old) was over the limit.

Meanwhile, provisional figures for the year ending March 2015 have again shown little progress in overall road casualty reduction, with casualties of all severities down 2% to 186,060 – too small a fall to be statistically significant. Brake advocates the reintroduction of ambitious casualty reduction targets to stimulate meaningful progress, and is calling on the Government to adopt a ‘vision zero’ approach.

“While the overall reduction in drink drive casualties is encouraging, it is sad and disappointing to learn that the number of deaths has remained the same – as it has approximately since the Government axed road casualty reduction targets in 2010,” said Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake.

“Education on drink driving is important, but it can only achieve so much,” she added. “It seems we have reached a point where further meaningful reductions in devastating and needless drink drive deaths and serious injuries require more decisive action.”

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