On 4th February the government released two separate reports, Reported road casualties Great Britain – July – September 2015 and Reported road casualties in Great Britain, estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2014. The Department for Transport data shows an increase in road death but a fall in killed or seriously injured casualties as a whole and it also shows that deaths related to drink driving stayed around the same level.
The figures for the whole 12 months to September 2015, including the figures in this report, showed that there were 1780 road deaths in total in the period which is an increase of 3% when compared to the previous period to September 2014. There were also 23,700 killed or seriously injured casualties and 188,830 casualties of all severities, a 3% decrease in both instances.
In the period specifically looked at in the government report there were 450 fatalities on the road which is a 2% decrease on the corresponding period in 2014 and in this three-month period it was also reported that slightly injured casualties and overall total casualties also fell by 1% on the same period in the previous year. Road safety campaign groups have expressed their disappointment in the 3% increase in road deaths and are pressing the government for solutions, particularly when the alcohol-related road casualties are looked at.
Drink Drive Deaths Figure Stays Static
The second of the Department for Transport’s reports looked specifically at the road casualties involved illegal alcohol levels in the whole of 2014. The data is purely a provisional estimate but shows that between 210 and 270 people were killed in accidents in the whole of Great Britain where at least one of the drivers involved was over the drink drive limit, with the central estimate figure set at 240, which is unchanged from the previous year.
The number of people seriously injured in accidents involving drink driving fell by 2% to 1080 in 2014 and the total number of all casualties also fell by 1%, to 8220. When confirmation of these figures come later in the year and if they remain the same they will go on record as the lowest numbers ever recorded, something which the government will be pleased about but from the perspective of road safety campaign groups there is still plenty to be done.
Speaking on behalf of Brake, their campaigns director, Gary Rae commented: “. I want to know what the government intends to do to stop these wholly preventable deaths. It’s time for them to take action: reintroduce casualty reduction targets; reduce the drink drive limit to 20mg per 100ml of blood, and introduce much tougher penalties for criminal drivers.”