THERE HAS been a great deal of attention on the issue of drug driving since new limits were set in March this year, but as Christmas approaches, the government is reminding us that drink driving is still a serious problem with a new safety campaign.
The ads are aimed at drivers who think it’s OK to have two alcoholic drinks before driving, and highlight how the second drink can double the chance of being in a fatal collision.
Videos released today show people who are put under pressure to drink and drive. One features a man refusing to collect his wife from the train station as he’s had a second glass of wine; another shows a junior office worker being put on photocopying duty by his boss for refusing a second drink after work. The adverts end with the protagonists “in the doghouse” and “photocopying … but alive”.
The campaign is based on new research from the Think! road safety group that shows 1 in 10 people would consider having two or more drinks before they got behind the wheel. The survey of 781 drivers aged 18 and over in England and Wales found the figure was nearly 1 in 5 (19%) among men aged 18-34.
“Over the past 30 years drink-drive deaths have fallen significantly, but every death or serious injury is one too many,” said the road safety minister Andrew Jones. “The best way for drivers to keep themselves and other road users safe is simple: don’t drink and drive.”
The Institute for Advanced Motorists echoed this message. “We support Think!’s campaign, which highlights the importance of avoiding the temptation of ‘just one more’,” said
Sarah Sillars, the IAM’s chief executive. “Know your limits and know the legal limit. Getting that second-drink calculation wrong is easily avoided just by remembering that if you drive, don’t drink.”
The latest government statistics show that the estimated number of reported drink-drive casualties have fallen by more than half, from 16,980 in 2004 to 8,270 in 2013, with those killed dropping from 560 to 230 over the same period. However, last year there was an increase to 8,320 and 240, respectively.
Today’s figures show that the majority of drivers in England and Wales are aware of the need to avoid drinking before driving: 60% of those surveyed said it was not acceptable to drink at all before driving. However, even though 93% of people don’t think it is right to drive after more than one drink, almost a fifth (18%) admit to having done so.