Crash stats prompt

drink-drive call

Car crash

DEATHS on Britain's roads have shown a sad rise over the past 12 months.

Statistics just released by the Department for Transport (DfT) show a two per cent increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured up to the end of March this year.

And there has been almost no reduction for the past six years.

Safety champions GEM Motoring Assist are, quite rightly, deeply concerned.

Commenting on the provisional estimates of reported road casualties, GEM Motoring Assist information officer Neil Worth said: "The government made a manifesto commitment to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the UK's roads every year.

"However, there has been almost no reduction for the past six years. In particular, there has been no reduction in deaths involving drink-driving during that time - a clear sign that we need new initiatives in the field of drink-drive education, as well as wider enforcement of drink-drive laws.

"This once again demonstrates the grave mistake made in permitting such a big reduction in the numbers of road policing officers over these past six years."

"The government needs to be held accountable for its refusal to consider a reduction in the drink-drive limit. At the same time, we need to invest in fresh new initiatives that remind drivers of the dangers of driving after drinking alcohol. There also needs to be a much greater perception among drink-drivers that they will be stopped, breathalysed and punished."

And GEM is right. In my view there is a widespread perception that fewer police cars on the road means that too many people think that they can get away with one for the road.

In addition to this the higher acceleration rates of modern vehicles mean that drivers are often tempted to overtake when they really should not.

Cost cutting saw the end of many local authority road safety departments which, in my view did a very good job.

Maybe it is time for more road safety initiatives at grass roots level in addition to more police patrols. Anything is better than losing yet another life,

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