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Thursday, 20 November 2008

Lower alcohol limit needed to reduce deaths on our roads

The Road Safety Compliance consultation has just been released and I have to say there are several sensible ideas in it, which, if adopted, could really help improve road safety.

It’s also good to see that the Government intends to investigate the impact of drugs on driving, as well as starting a major awareness campaign on the issue. Research does suggest that illicit drugs contribute significantly to road accidents in the UK. So it’s vital we fully understand the dangers of drug driving and that police forces are given more support, to tackle the issue.

BMA Cymru Wales also supports the REMOVAL of a drunk driver’s ability to request a second alcohol test by a doctor, if they are just over the limit. Modern technology means such a requirement is now unnecessary. And, some drivers may be exploiting this, in the hope that their alcohol levels will drop as they wait for a doctor to arrive.

The BMA will continue to lobby the UK Government to reduce the current drink drive limit. The science is clear: a 50mg limit would lower the number of road crashes, deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

The introduction of the current limit, backed by police enforcement and hard-hitting media campaigns, led to a dramatic fall in the number of deaths on our roads. But it’s been stagnant since 1993. We need a new impetus, with a lower limit, to reduce the 2,946 deaths and around 30,000 injuries on Britain’s roads last year.

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