Road safety minister: “Drink-driving destroys families”

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Fatal: this year's Think! drink-driving campaign has launched today
Fatal: this year's Think! drink-driving campaign has launched today

Related tags: Constable

Roads safety minister Andrew Jones has urged young men specifically not to get behind the wheel after drinking – as they account for 62% of drink-drivers killed – ahead of this year’s Think! Drink-driving campaign.

This campaign, launched today (Thursday 1 December), is targeting young men after revealing figures that showed they account for almost two-thirds of drink-drivers killed on roads.

Jones said: “Drink-driving​ destroys families and ruins lives yet some reckless drivers continue to take the risk and get behind the wheel after drinking – particularly young men who account for almost two thirds of drink-drivers killed on our roads.

“We have some of the safest roads in the world and deaths from drink-driving have fallen significantly over the last 30 years, but it is still responsible for the deaths of five people every week.

“This Christmas we are specifically targeting the biggest perpetrators of this devastating crime – young men, but our message to everyone remains the same: don’t drink and drive.”

Research carried out for the Department of Transport found a fifth (20%) of young men have had two or more drinks before driving and a further 11% said they had considered it, with a third of adults saying they felt it wouldn't impact their driving.

Doubles the chance

However, research from the National Institute of Health & Care Excellence showed a second drink doubles the chances of a driver being involved in a fatality.

The campaign will target young males through Twitter, Spotify and Facebook, on which 5.4m British males aged 25 to 34 alone have accounts, the highest single demographic.

A new advert will be posted on Facebook or Twitter everyday throughout this month (December) playing on the concept of ‘fear of missing out’.

The aim is to make it clear to young men that they have a lot to live for the next day, which they may not see if they have a second drink.

The national roads policing spokesperson, chief constable Suzette Davenport, said: “Police officers on patrols over the Christmas and New Year period will be specifically targeting people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and we will also be doing roadside testing, so we can make instant arrests.

Consequences will "plague you for life"

She added: “Our message is very simple and very clear – you are breaking the law, you are risking your life and the lives of those around you and the consequences of doing so will plague you for the rest of your life.”

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart chief executive Sarah Sillars said: “Younger drivers and especially young males are at the highest risk on the road in general and it is worrying to see just how high this proportion is in drink-drive deaths and serious injuries.

“Through the work we do with offenders, the most common feedback we receive is “I simply didn’t realise”, particularly when it comes to the risk of still being over the limit the next day.

“This clearly demonstrates the need for education, especially for high-risk groups. Our advice is always make it none for the road this Christmas, but if you’re going to have a drink, know your limits.”

Related topics: Legislation

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