Friday, August 5, 2011

Drink-drive deaths down 35%

New figures from the Department for Transport reveal there was a sharp fall in deaths from drink-drive accidents in 2010.

There were 250 fatalities in 2010, compared to a total of 380 deaths in 2009, reveals the department’s provisional report.

Serious injuries from drink-driving incidents fell 18 per cent to 1,230 and slight injuries were down 19 per cent at 8,220.

In 1979, when drink-drive casualty records began, there were as many as 1,640 deaths.

Transport minister Norman Baker said: ‘The provisional figures suggest the number of drink-drive deaths is now 83 per cent lower than 30 years ago – this is very welcome. However, we are determined to continue to take firm action against the small minority of drivers who still ignore the limit.’
Very good news that backs up Transport Secretary Philip Hammond’s decision earlier this year not to cut the drink-drive limit. Arguably, the vast majority of the casualty reductions that might have been achieved by cutting the limit fifteen or twenty years ago have already been realised by changes in behaviour. However, regrettably, some of this fall must be due to people simply choosing not to visit pubs at all, with the inevitable repercussions for the pub trade.