Commenting on new estimates for the number of fatal drink drive crashes out this morning from the Department of Transport, RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said:
“While a final figure won’t be available for a number of months, the picture that emerges from the latest drink-drive statistics is a disturbing one. At best, progress in reducing fatal crashes as a result of people drinking and driving continues to stall, and at worse there has been an increase for the first time since 2009 – which would be the biggest year-on-year rise in such crashes since 2000.
“We are under no illusion about the scale of the challenge when it comes to ending the menace of drink-drivers on the UK’s roads – not least in addressing the problem of persistent offenders. For these hard core offenders, drink-driving it is likely to be a symptom of other problems in their lives which are neither simple or cheap to fix. But despite this, we today call on the Government to make it crystal clear to drink-drive offenders that enough is enough. We need more communication on exactly what the current strategy is for tackling a crime which can have such devastating consequences. The police also need to have the resources they need to robustly enforce the law and make our roads a safer place – the sharp fall in dedicated roads policing officers we have witnessed in recent years has surely not helped.
“We also repeat our plea to the Government to review the drink-drive limit in England and Wales – the limit in these parts of the UK is among the most forgiving of anywhere in Europe, which surely sends the wrong message to anyone who thinks about getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink. Our Report on Motoring showed that such a change has the support of 59% of UK drivers."