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2 for 1 cinema offer with Direct Line car insurance

Press Releases   •   Aug 13, 2012 12:09 BST

Annual cinema pass for new Direct Line car customers in August

If the old saying ‘save your money for a rainy day’ is anything to go by, many of us will have washed out our savings, after one of the wettest summers in recent history. To keep families entertained during this wet summer, Direct Line is offering 2 for 1 annual cinema passes to new customers who purchase car insurance online this August. 

With the Direct Line annual pass, numbers of visits are unlimited so movie goers could use the discount every day. There is a maximum of ten cinema voucher orders per day, per customer, during the validity period of the Direct Line Cinema Card. 

Steve Price, head of car insurance at Direct Line, said: “More than half of film fans agree that the expenses associated with the cinema impact how much they go*. With this new offer, customers can benefit from straightforward car insurance and the added bonus of a year of discounted nights out at the cinema. The 2 for 1 offer is accepted at over 80 cinemas nationwide. So start planning the list of all the releases you want to catch.” 

The 2 for 1 cinema offer

The 2 for 1 cinema ticket offer can be used on an unlimited basis so there is no limit to the money film fans could save.

From upcoming pre-Christmas releases such as the latest Bond movie, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘The Hobbit’ to Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe in next year’s Les Miserables, there is no end to the blockbusters movies-goers could be saving money on.

Once the driver has bought a car insurance policy online, Direct Line will reserve a cinema card. This will be sent out from 1st October with full instructions on how to use it to book 2 for 1 tickets.

Terms and conditions

Offer ends 31st August

Online customers only

Go to www.directline.com/motor/cinema-offer.htm

- Ends -

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Claire Foster

PR Manager

Direct Line

claire.foster@directlinegroup.co.uk

020 8285 8682

07900 217 264 

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the firstUKinsurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the number one car and home insurer in the UK(based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.  Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3564 or visiting www.directline.com

Direct Line insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf,Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered inEnglandand Wales no 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. 

Annual cinema pass for new Direct Line car customers in August

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Metal theft could affect Easter for worshipers and commuters

Press Releases   •   Aug 13, 2012 12:02 BST

Metal theft could affect Easter for worshipers and commuters

  • One in five believe their local church has been stripped of metal
  • North East most prolific area for metal theft

New research from Direct Line home insurance reveals that one in five people say that a church in their local area has been targeted by metal thieves. This rises to over a third in the North East of England.

More chaos for commuters this Easter

As if the strikes and fuel crisis have not caused enough chaos already, the research also revealed that one in ten respondents have experienced rail travel disruption as a result of metal theft. It is not just trains that have been affected, 13 per cent of respondents said that the road infrastructure in their local area has been targeted by metal thieves.

 It’s coming home . . .

Kate Syred, commercial director at Direct Line home insurance, said: “Theft of lead flashing from flat roofs, wrought iron gates, railings, and even copper pipes are becoming common claims. Householders should check they are covered under their home insurance, not only for metal theft, but for any consequential damage to your home.”

 - Ends -

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Claire Foster

PR Manager

Direct Line

claire.foster@rbs.co.uk

020 8285 8682

07900 217 264

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,014 UK adults aged 18+ from 24 to 26 of January 2012. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. www.opinium.co.uk 

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the firstUKinsurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the number one car and home insurer in the UK(based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.  Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3564 or visiting www.directline.com

Direct Line insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf,Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered inEnglandand Wales no 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. 

One in five believe their local church has been stripped of metal North East most prolific area for metal theft

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Flooding information from Direct Line

Press Releases   •   Jul 06, 2012 08:30 BST

Spokespeople available:

Steve Maddock – managing director of claims, Direct Line

Steve is responsible for the setting and operational delivery of the Group’s claims strategy. Prior to joining Direct Line Group in 2010, Steve spent six years as the director of strategic and technical claims at RSA. He has also held senior management positions at Capita and AMP.

Miranda Schunke – spokesperson, Direct Line

Former Sky News and GMTV reporter, Miranda is a spokesperson and consumer champion at Direct Line Group

Martin Egan – national property claims manager, Direct Line

Martin has years of property claims knowledge and has broadcast experience

The UK is facing a weekend of floods following the wettest June in over a century. In preparation, Direct Line is on alert and has Property Insurance Advisers (PIAs) ready to help customers through the claims process.  These PIAs will be on the ground in areas expecting heavy rainfall, giving any assistance possible, including helping to cope with the damage, as well as authorising repairs and alternative accommodation where necessary.

Steve Maddock, managing director of claims at Direct Line, comments:

“We take the current severe weather and flooding situation extremely seriously, and have put our emergency action plans into place.  We have highly experienced people on the ground ready to provide assistance to homes and businesses in the areas that could be hit by flooding.

Direct Line has the following advice for householders if flooding occurs:

  • Direct Line customers: If your property is damaged, please contact our 24 hour emergency helpline on 0845 601 3004 as soon as possible
  • If you need to move to alternative accommodation, the cost is normally covered under your insurance policy, but please check this when speaking to the claims team
  • When possible, take photographs of the damage to your building and contents or film the footage; they may help with the settlement of your claim
  • Don't throw away possessions without first discussing it with your claims adviser, as they will need to be assessed
  • Do not use electrical equipment or the gas supply until it has been checked  by a qualified tradesman
  • Wash taps and run them for a few minutes before use
  • Do not rush to redecorate your home as it can take weeks for a flood-damaged property to fully dry out
  • Do not lift wet carpets unless absolutely necessary as they may shrink

Direct Line has the following advice for householders at risk of flooding:

  • Ensure any drains and gutters are clear of debris so rainfall can drain from your property effectively
  • Place valuable and electrical items in high cupboards to reduce the impact of any flood damage
  • Ensure outdoor furniture and other items likely to float away are safely restrained to reduce the risk of these items causing secondary damage
  • Establish an evacuation plan for your family. This will reduce the risk of injury to your loved ones and give you more time to save items of sentimental and material value
  • While it is safe to use electrical equipment, keep up to date with the latest weather and flood warnings by monitoring local television and radio services
  • If your property has flooded, switch off your mains power supply to reduce the risk of electrocution and fire caused by floodwater
  • Store important documents, including insurance policy details and useful contact numbers in a watertight bag in a dry accessible place, preferably upstairs
  • Make up a flood emergency kit and keep it in a safe place.  Include key personal documents, a torch and portable radio with spare batteries, warm clothing, blankets, rubber boots and gloves, cleaning equipment, disinfectant and detergent, heavy duty refuse bags, a first aid kit and any essential medication
    • Make a list of useful numbers you may need – your insurer, your local council, the emergency services and the number of Floodline, tel: 0845 988 1188
    • Buy air brick covers or flood boards to block doorways

- Ends -

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Claire Foster

PR Manager

Direct Line

claire.foster@rbs.co.uk

020 8285 8682

07900 217 264

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the firstUKinsurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the number one car and home insurer in the UK(based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.  Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3564 or visiting www.directline.com

Direct Line insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf,Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered inEnglandand Wales no 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. 

Spokespeople available: Steve Maddock – managing director of claims, Direct Line; Miranda Schunke – spokesperson, Direct Line; Martin Egan – national property claims manager, Direct Line; Steve Maddock, managing director of claims at Direct Line, comments:

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January sales entice early holiday booking

Press Releases   •   Feb 02, 2012 13:41 GMT

8.7 millionUKadults have already booked their main holiday for 2012*
A further 8.9 million have started looking at deals but haven’t booked yet**

Research commissioned by Direct Line travel insurance shows that the January sales aren’t just for clothing and home furnishings, with many people in the UK taking advantage of discounts on flights, hotels and package holidays to organise their main holiday early in the year.

Nearly 20 per cent of those who have made plans for their main holiday have already booked either short- or long-haul travel arrangements, while another one in five are still weighing up the deals on offer.

Regionally, people in some areas seem to be either more keen to get away or less keen to spend money on a holiday. Only one in five (20 per cent) Londoners said that they weren’t planning to take a main holiday this year, while nearly half of people in Wales (46 per cent) said they were planning to forgo a main holiday.

Adults planning to give up a main holiday this year, by region:

Rank
UK Region
% giving up main holiday

Wales 

43%

North East 

37%

East ofEngland

32%

4

South West

33%

5=

Scotland

27%

5=

Yorkshire & Humberside

27%

7=

South East

25%

7=

East Midlands

25%

9=

West Midlands

24%

9=

North West

24%

11

Northern Ireland

21%

12

London

20%

UK weighted average 27%

Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line, said:

“Whether you’re taking advantage of January sales to book your holiday now, or just scouring the web for deals later on, be sure to book your travel insurance as soon as you book any of your travel arrangements. That way, you’ll be covered for cancellation should you be unable to travel for an unexpected reason, and you won’t have to hunt around for a deal at the last minute.

“Consider taking out an annual policy for another way to save money throughout the year. You’ll be covered for 12 months without having to think about a policy for every trip, including cover for cancellation all year long. If you go abroad more than once a year, or plan to take more than one trip within theUKin addition to a trip abroad, an annual policy may provide better value for money than separate single trip policies.”

Booking now could save you money

Direct Line travel insurance is offering 20 per cent off all annual travel insurance policies bought online, and 10 per cent off all annual policies bought over the phone, from 5 January to 29 February 2012.

ENDS

 

For further information, please contact:

Erica Nelson
PR Manager
Direct Line
Tel: 0208 313 5830
Mob: 07919 218 045
Email: erica.nelson@rbs.co.uk

Notes to Editors

*Results from a nationally-representative survey by Opinium Research of 2,016UKadults from 10-12 January 2012, on behalf of Direct Line.

17.4% of UK adults have booked a long-haul or short-haul holiday for 2012. ONS population projections give the UK adult population (18+) for 2012 as 49,924,000

17.4% of UK adults is therefore 8,716,889

**17.8% of UK adults have started looking at deals but not booked yet. 17.8% of UK adults, based on above figures, is therefore 8,890,236

 

Direct Line travel insurance offer

Direct Line travel insurance is offering 20 per cent off all annual travel insurance policies bought online, and 10 per cent off all annual policies bought over the phone, until 29 February 2012.

Terms and conditions:

Offer available from 05.01.12 to 29.02.12. Introductory discount applied to the premium.

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the firstUKinsurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the number one car and home insurer in the UK(based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.  Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 8704 or visiting www.directline.com

Direct Line insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, registered office: The Wharf,Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered inEnglandand Wales no 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

8.7 millionUKadults have already booked their main holiday for 2012* A further 8.9 million have started looking at deals but haven’t booked yet**

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WAVE GOODBYE TO THE CORGI MA’AM

Press Releases   •   Feb 02, 2012 13:36 GMT

 

  • One in six people voted the Cocker Spaniel the perfect dog to accompany Kate Middleton on Royal duties
  • Leading dog behaviourist Stan Rawlinson describes the breed as ‘the perfect pup for the royal duo’

 

As the new addition to Kate and William’s household is announced, research by enhanced insurance cover specialists, Select from Direct Line, reveals that although the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel turned out to be the public’s preferred royal breed, the Cocker Spaniel came in at a close second.

 

Corgis may have been synonymous with British Royalty for almost seven decades, but the British public does not share the Queen’s love of the breed, according to the Select research. Just 35 per cent of people think the Corgi would be an appropriate dog to represent the British Monarchy when William ascends to the throne alongside Kate. 

 

Given public apathy towards the Corgi, Select from Direct Line engaged Stan Rawlinson, one of theUK’s leading dog behaviourists, to develop a shortlist of canines with the breeding, style and temperament to complement William and Kate.  The public were then asked to vote which breed of dog would be most appropriate to represent our monarchy when William and Kate become King and Queen. 

 

Top five breeds of dog voted by the public as a suitable companion for the royal couple are:

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  2. Cocker Spaniel
  3. Labrador Retriever
  4. Border Collie
  5. Daschund

 

Topping the nation’s list was the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (19 per cent).  Named after a past King of England this breed has been linked with English royalty since the 1500s. Nicknamed “The Comforter Spaniel” this lap dog needs plenty of affection, making it a good companion for Kate while William is away on RAF duties. It is also brilliant with children, perfect should the couple want to start a family in the coming years.

 

One in six (18 per cent) voted the Cocker Spaniel the perfect dog to accompany Kate Middleton on Royal duties.  The Cocker Spaniel is the second most popular dog in theUKaccording to the Kennel Club, making it very much a ‘puppy for the people.’

 

The third dog in line to take up the mantle as Royal mascot was the Labrador retriever, receiving 15 per cent of the public vote.Labradorsare very affectionate, even with extended families, so are well suited to coping with the crowds that follow the Royal couple to any engagement.  A very sporting, athletic breed, they also fit with Kate’s love of the outdoors.

 

Nick Brabham, head of Select from Direct Line, said: “The public have embraced William and Kate as a breath of fresh air for the monarchy and wanted them to choose a new breed of dog to represent the nation on the world stage.  There is no doubt, the hound will certainly be one of the most privileged pets inBritain, roaming vast estates and being flown around the country.  Obviously not all pets will enjoy such extravagant lifestyles, but with Select, they will receive a first-class experience should any accident or incident arise.”

 

Stan Rawlinson says: “The public’s choice was inspired. Spaniels were born to be with Royalty. Happy in either a palace or a flat, these wonderful pets are great with children, adults and other dogs. I would have probably voted this breed into first place.”

 

Languishing at the bottom of the list is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with just two per cent of the nation’s votes. Despite being one of the only dogs the Kennel Club recommends for a family with small children, it appears that the Staff’s past reputation for aggression means many feel it doesn’t quite fit with the public’s vision of a Royal canine. 

 

ENDS

 

The Select product offers bespoke insurance bundles; customers can choose home or motor insurance only, or choose to bring their various insurance covers into one Select portfolio of covers (including home, car, pet, travel insurance and breakdown cover), with one annual renewal and payment date. The products give customers enhanced levels of cover, greater levels of customer service and peace of mind.

 

For more information on Select from Direct Line please call 0800 533 5200 or visit http://www.directline.com/select/select.htm

 

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Vision Critical research surveyed 2,011 British adults aged 18+ via online omnibus from 14 – 17 October 2011.  The results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

 

For further information please contact:

 

Claire Foster
claire.foster@rbs.co.uk
020 8285 8682


Direct Line

 

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the firstUKinsurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

 

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the number one car and home insurer in the UK(based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.  Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

Direct Line insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf,Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered inEnglandand Wales no 1179980. U K Insurance Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. 


• One in six people voted the Cocker Spaniel the perfect dog to accompany Kate Middleton on Royal duties • Leading dog behaviourist Stan Rawlinson describes the breed as ‘the perfect pup for the royal duo’

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Direct Line home plus customers benefit from increased protection against O2 customer details leak

Press Releases   •   Jan 26, 2012 18:04 GMT

O2 customers concerned that they may have been affected by the O2 data leak should remain vigilant and be aware that they may be at increased risk of scams and phone phishing attacks (fishing for sensitive, personal information). Direct Line home plus customers have access to an Identity and Online Fraud Assistance service that helps to protect against such threats. Further information can be found at http://www.directline.com/home/garlik.htm

 

Stuart Curson, head of home insurance at Direct Line, comments: “Direct Line home insurance customers who have access to the online and identity fraud service should make sure they add their O2 number to their DataPatrol service, in order that any further disclosure of their information can be monitored.

 

Curson continues: “Worried or affected customers who have the service should contact the Direct Line fraud assistance line for further advice and support. If they think they have already fallen victim to a phone phishing or scam attack then CIFAS (UKfraud prevention service) protective registration can be provided at no additional cost.”

 

Direct Line Home Plus benefit from Identity and Online Fraud Assistance

DataPatrol (powered by Garlik, the online and identity theft experts) is available to Direct Line home plus customers as part of an Identity and Online Fraud Assistance service and provides:

  • Prevention
    Daily monitoring of your personal and financial information to check that your personal information has not been disclosed online, giving criminals the means necessary to begin to steal your identity and commit fraud
  • Detection
    Monitoring to check if your personal or financial information has already been stolen and could immediately be used to commit fraud
  • Support
    Instant alerts by text and email if your information is found, plus access to the Garlik Care service that provides immediate advice and help should you become a victim of fraud or, if you just want further advice, on how to protect yourself from fraud. The Garlik Care service is accessible via phone and email.

 

- Ends -


Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Claire Foster

PR Manager

Direct Line

claire.foster@rbs.co.uk

020 8285 8682

07900 217 264

 


 

Direct Line

 

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the firstUKinsurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

 

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the number one car and home insurer in the UK(based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.  Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3564 or visiting www.directline.com

Direct Line insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf,Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered inEnglandand Wales no 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

 


O2 customers concerned that they may have been affected by the O2 data leak should remain vigilant and be aware that they may be at increased risk of scams and phone phishing attacks (fishing for sensitive, personal information).

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Don’t forget your dog when getting fit this year

Press Releases   •   Jan 26, 2012 17:59 GMT

Direct Line calls on pet owners to review the health of their animals following the festive period.

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RISE OF THE CINQ-JOUR BREAK

Press Releases   •   Jan 26, 2012 17:47 GMT

 

29 per cent of holidaymakers jetted off for just five days in the last year

Work pressures blamed for changing the traditional British holiday abroad

New research commissioned by Select from Direct Line* reveals that increasing workplace pressures are taking their toll on the traditional British holiday, as almost a third (29 per cent) of holidaymakers head abroad for breaks lasting just five days. 

Nearly half (45 per cent) of those surveyed said they had not been fortunate enough to enjoy a foreign holiday last year.  However, of those lucky enough to have taken a vacation abroad in the last year, 7.2 million (29 per cent) stayed for just five days – an increasing holiday trend dubbed the ‘cinq-jour break’.  

According to the research, the popularity of last minute city breaks and spontaneous long weekends in the sun may be more the result of our chaotic British working culture than personal preference, as only one in three (36 per cent) of those taking a cinq-jour break were happy with the length of their trip.

While the effects of increased pressure in the workplace may have shortened the traditional British holiday, people are still prepared to go the distance to enjoy their five days of respite, with 42 per cent (20 million) of people prepared to endure a long-haul flight of thirteen hours for a break of just five days. This includes 8.2 million (17 per cent) who have already done so.

Nick Brabham, head of Select from Direct Line, said: “Traditional British family holidays, which were previously a once-a-year custom, seem to be taking a back-seat as a result of work pressures. Thankfully, the increasing popularity of last-minute and short-stay holidays still ensures that many of us are able to get away each year, but the duration of the average trip does appear to be reducing.

“The fact that so many people are still prepared to sit through a long-haul flight for such a brief trip abroad just shows that exploring exotic destinations still a top priority, but our increasingly time-poor and over stretched lifestyles mean that the typical British fortnight away is becoming more of a long weekend.”

Andrew Booth, group marketing director for Time Out, commented: “Holidaymakers’ appetites for exploring foreign countries are increasing rapidly, but unfortunately lifestyles don’t always allow people to take as much time as they’d like to do this. Britons love to travel and explore, and the cinq-jour trend just shows that people are willing to adapt their travel plans to suit their lifestyle commitments if it means that they can still enjoy a holiday.”

The Select product offers bespoke insurance bundles; customers can choose home or motor insurance only, or choose to bring their various insurance covers into one Select portfolio of covers (including home, car, pet, travel insurance and breakdown cover), with one annual renewal and payment date. The products give customers enhanced levels of cover, greater levels of customer service and peace of mind.

For more information on Select from Direct Line please call 0800 533 5200
Or visit http://www.directline.com/select/select.htm

ENDS

Notes to editors:

*ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,033 adults aged 18+ from its online panel between 10th and 11th August 2011.  Surveys were conducted acrossGreat Britain and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.  ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk

For further information please contact:

Ewan Robertson/Katie Pugh
CitigateDeweRogerson
Tel: 0207 282 2981/2914
Email: ewan.robertson@citigatedr.co.uk
katie.pugh@citigatedr.co.uk

Claire Foster
claire.foster@rbs.co.uk
020 8285 8682

 

 

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the firstUKinsurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the number one car and home insurer in the UK(based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.  Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3564 or visiting www.directline.com

Direct Line insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf,Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered inEnglandand Wales no 1179980. U K Insurance Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.


29 per cent of holidaymakers jetted off for just five days in the last year Work pressures blamed for changing the traditional British holiday abroad

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Government must act now to tackle horrifying levels of drug driving among young people

Press Releases   •   Jan 04, 2012 00:00 GMT

Road safety charity Brake and Direct Line Car Insurance are calling for the government to push through proposals on tackling drug driving, as a survey reveals one in nine young drivers (11%) has driven on illegal drugs in the past year [1].

The survey by Brake and Direct Line found that 3% of young drivers (age 17-24) said they get behind the wheel after taking drugs once a month or more. Slightly more young drivers are admitting drug driving than four years ago, when one in 11 young drivers (9%) owned up to this potentially deadly behaviour [2].

Brake, together with the family of Lillian Groves, killed age 14 by a driver who had been smoking cannabis (see below), is urging the government to follow through on its promise to tackle drug driving urgently. They are calling for long-needed reform, including:

  • a new law making it an offence to drive while on illegal drugs, to rectify the current loophole. Currently it is only an offence to drive while impaired by drugs, meaning police must prove impairment to prosecute.
  • approval and roll-out of roadside drug screening devices, so police can test for drugs at the roadside and immediately following a crash.

(Full calls to government below.)

Ellen Booth, Brake senior campaigns officer, said: “The risks of driving on drugs are huge, and the consequences devastating – yet a huge proportion of young drivers are taking this appalling gamble with their own and others’ lives. We need all drivers to pledge to never mix drugs and driving, and we need the government to follow through with its commitment to tackle this problem. For too long the law on drug driving has been totally inadequate. We need a ban on driving with illegal drugs in your system, and we need roadside drugalysers. The longer this takes, the more lives will be violently and tragically lost.”

 

Andy Goldby, Director of Motor Underwriting and Pricing for Direct Line Car Insurance, said: “Drug driving is as irresponsible as drink driving.  The effects of drugs can often leave people feeling overly confident or extremely relaxed, both of which are known to lead to dangerous driving behaviours.  We need the loopholes closed and action taken to ensure those who drive under the influence of drugs, are able to be prosecuted more easily.”

The consequences
On 26 June 2010 Lillian Groves, 14, was playing in her front garden in New Addington, Croydon, with her brother Oliver, 10, when she went into the road to fetch a ball. Driver John Page, 36, was speeding, uninsured and had been smoking cannabis. He ploughed into Lillian at more than 40mph. She was rushed to hospital where doctors tried to stop the internal bleeding. Just after midnight her parents Natasha and Gary were told she had died from her head injury.

Page had been smoking cannabis that day. Following the collision, police searched the car he was driving and found a half-smoked cannabis joint. A blood test was not carried out until nine hours later. Page tested positive for cannabis, but the levels were not deemed high enough for him to face the more serious charge of causing death by driving under the influence of drugs, which carries a 14-year sentence. Page received a four month sentence for causing death by careless driving and causing death whilst driving uninsured and a two year driving ban. He was released after eight weeks.

Lillian’s aunty Michaela Groves said: “Lillian’s death has devastated our family. It’s left a gaping hole that simply cannot be filled. We will never see her grow up into the wonderful woman we know she would have been. I’m pleading with drivers young and old to commit to never take drugs and drive. It’s an atrocious risk that could easily end in death or serious injury.” Read Lillian’s memory page on Brake’s website.

Lillian's family and The Croydon Advertiser have started an e-petition and are determined to get 100,000 signatures.  Lillian’s family met with the David Cameron on 29th November 2011 to discuss a change in the law (see recommendations below). The Prime Minister was reported afterwards to have admitted that change had ‘taken too long’ and promised to speed up the process.

Michaela is available for interviews. Contact Ellen on 01484 550067 or ebooth@brake.org.uk.

Recommendations to government

Brake and Lillian’s family are calling on the government to:

  • introduce a law making an offence to drive on illegal drugs. Our drink-drive laws mean drivers can be prosecuted for having a certain level of alcohol in their blood, regardless of whether it can be shown their driving was impaired, but this is currently not the case for illegal drugs. Introducing a similar offence for drug-driving would make it much easier to prosecute. Evidence shows a range of illegal drugs affect the skills, coordination and judgment required for driving, [3] so it is fair to assume that drivers with these drugs in their system are impaired. In the government’s framework for road safety, published in May 2011, they promised to examine whether to introduce of a law by 2015. Brake argues we need progress now.
  • introduce roadside drugalysers. While the current Field Impairment Tests used by police are an important aid to identifying driver impairment, they are subjective and therefore not always reliable in identifying drug driving [4.] Successive governments have been considering the official specifications for drugalysers for a decade: it’s time to get a move on.
  • Make roads policing a national policing priority, enabling greater resources to be invested in roads policing, and increase police powers to enable random testing, so more tests are carried out and there is a greater deterrent against drink and drug driving.

In March 2011 the government responded to an independent review of drink and drug driving by committing to approve drug screeners for use in police stations, and later at the roadside, and to examine the case for a new drug driving offence, relieving the need to prove impairment. Read their response.

Brake welcomed this, but warns the policies proposed don’t go far enough or fast enough. For the past decade, successive governments have promised to tackle the scourge of drug driving but failed to make inroads. Drug driving laws and roadside testing equipment work in other countries including Germany, Australia and Finland so there is no reason to delay in the UK.

Read more on Brake’s campaign for zero tolerance on drug driving.

Facts

Drug driving is a widespread menace. In the UK, around 18% of people killed in road crashes have traces of illegal drugs in their blood, with cannabis being the most common [5]. Young drivers are much more likely to take illegal drugs and drive than their older counterparts. Drivers under 25 years old are nearly four times as likely to drive on illegal drugs as older drivers (11% compared to 3%) [6].

Different drugs affect people in different ways and the effects can last for days, sometimes without someone realising. Researchers at the University Claude Bernard inLyon,France, found taking cannabis almost doubles the risk of being involved in a fatal car crash while mixing cannabis with alcohol increased crash risk 16-fold [7].

Advice for drivers
Drugs and driving is a deadly combination. Illegal drugs can affect a driver’s behaviour and body in all sorts of dangerous and unpredictable ways, including: slower reaction times, poor concentration, sleepiness/fatigue, confused thinking, distorted perception and over-confidence. The effects of lack of sleep can also affect illegal drug users for days [8]. The message is simple, if you are driving, don’t take illegal drugs, and if you are taking illegal drugs, don’t drive until you have completely recovered.

Notes to editors
Brake and Direct Line conducted a survey of 4,640 drivers and riders, 390 of whom were aged 17 – 24. The survey was carried out by Brake volunteers, at locations across theUK. Every effort was made to ensure a wide variety of people responded. Repeating some questions from a 2007 survey by Brake and Green Flag has enabled some analysis of changing driver attitudes and behaviour. Brake thanks all volunteers who helped conduct the survey and collate the results.

Brake

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 65 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake’s support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

End notes

[1] 390 young drivers age 17-24 were surveyed in a variety of locations across theUK, Direct Line Report on Safe Driving 2009 – 2011 PART SIX Young drivers, Brake and Direct Line, 2011

[2] The Green Flag report on safe driving PART SIX Young drivers, Brake and Green Flag, 2007

[3] See http://www.dft.gov.uk/think/drugdrive/impairdriving.shtml

[4] Some estimates suggest that more than a third of drivers who drive after taking illegal drugs pass roadside Field impairment tests (FIT tests). Road Safety Research Report No 63 – Monitoring the Effectiveness ofUKField Impairment Tests,UniversityofGlasgow, March 2006

[5] The incidence of drugs and alcohol in road accident fatalities, Transport Research Laboratory, 2000

[6] Direct Line Report on Safe Driving 2009 – 2011 PART SIX Young drivers, Brake and Direct Line, 2011

[7] Cannabis intoxication and fatal road crashes inFrance: population based case-control study, French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research, 2005

[8] See Brake’s fact page on drug driving

Direct Line

 

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the firstUKinsurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

 

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the number one car and home insurer in the UK(based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.  Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

 

Direct Line Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered office: 3 Edridge Road, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1AG. Registered in Englandand Walesno. 01810801. The Financial Services Authority's Register can be accessed through http://www.fsa.gov.uk

Road safety charity Brake and Direct Line Car Insurance are calling for the government to push through proposals on tackling drug driving, as a survey reveals one in nine young drivers (11%) has driven on illegal drugs in the past year [1].

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Travel insurance for the holidays: there's no time like the present

Press Releases   •   Dec 16, 2011 16:24 GMT

Many British people plan to travel over the Christmas period, but they are choosing not to insure their journeys.

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About Direct Line

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the number one car and home insurer in the UK (based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3564 or visiting www.directline.com
Direct Line insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales no 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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