Articles Tagged ‘Drink-Drive - Brake the road safety charity’

#dontcrosstheline: Brake teams up with top ad agency to spread World Cup don’t drink and drive message

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk

As more than 20 million UK residents tuned in to watch the World Cup final on Sunday night, Brake teamed up with top advertising agency Leo Burnett to tackle the menace of drink driving.

The video parodied the use of the referee's white foam spray can to give football fans the message that alcohol and driving don't mix – not a drop. It was spread on social media using the hashtag #dontcrosstheline and has been watched almost 1,000 times already. Watch below or on YouTube.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Drink driving is still one of the biggest killers on our roads, so we were pleased to team up with Leo Burnett to get the vital message across this World Cup that it should be none for the road. One in six road deaths in the UK result from crashes where the driver was over the drink-drive limit, with a further estimated 65 caused by drivers who had been drinking but were under the limit. Even small amounts of alcohol affect your ability to drive and make you a danger on the roads. Drink drive deaths and serious injuries are devastating and needless: they can be stopped if all drivers pledge to not drink any alcohol – not a drop – before driving."

Brake campaigns for zero-tolerance on drink and drug driving through the Not a drop, not a drag campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #notadrop, #dontcrosstheline.

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, a Fleet Safety Forum, practitioner services, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Leo Burnett
Leo Burnett (www.leoburnett.co.uk) is a leading collective of specialist agencies in the UK providing clients with best-in-class communications expertise.

Leo Burnett UK is part of a global company with offices in over 100 Countries around the world. Here in the UK the group consists of Leo Burnett London (the advertising agency) (creative agency), Arc London (brand activation team), Holler (digital, content & social), Leo Burnett Change (behaviour change, not-for-profit) and Atelier (lifestyle, luxury, fashion specialists).

Leo Burnett, until recently, worked with the Department for Transport for over 20 years producing successful behaviour change campaigns for anti-drink driving, anti-drug driving, child road safety and teen road safety. Leo Burnett's long-running anti-drink drive campaign won a Gold IPA Effectiveness Award in 2012.

50 years, 25,000+ dead, since first anti-drink drive ad

Friday 7 November 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

"Don't ask a man to drink and drive" – that was the plea of the government's first ever public information film on the dangers of drink driving, 50 years ago. Since then, drink drivers over the legal limit have killed at least 25,000 people and seriously injured at least 130,000 in the UK [1] – but as these casualties have only been recorded since 1979, the complete figures are likely to be tens of thousands higher.

Casualties have fallen dramatically since the first drink drive ad, but drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our roads. Brake, the road safety charity, is using the anniversary to highlight the ongoing menace of drink driving and call for zero-tolerance to help stamp it out for good. See calls for action below.

With its appeal to women not to let their partners drink drive, the 1964 advert is a product of its time, but its message remains as relevant as ever. To this day, men account for more than three quarters (77%) of drink drive casualties [2]. What has changed is the message about how much is too much, with research having demonstrated the huge danger of drinking even small amounts and driving [3]. While the 1964 advert warns of the risks of drinking four to six whiskies, today Brake's not a drop campaign urges people to stay off the alcohol altogether if driving.

Drink drive (over the legal limit) casualties have steadily decreased, from 1,640 dead and 8,300 seriously injured in 1979, to 230 dead and 1,200 seriously injured in 2012 (latest available figures) [4]. They now account for one in eight road deaths (13%) compared with a quarter in 1979 [5].This is partly thanks to public education campaigns such as those by the Department for Transport's road safety agency, THINK! – it's estimated these prevented almost 2,000 deaths and over 10,000 serious injuries from 1979 to 2009 [6].

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Public education is critical to tackling road deaths and injuries, not just those caused by drink driving, so it is vital the government continues to fund this work. However, it is shocking that even though drivers are now well informed of the dangers, many continue to get behind the wheel after a drink, causing an unacceptable death toll and horrendous suffering for those who are left bereaved or injured. That's why we need a zero-tolerance drink drive limit – to send a clear message that any amount of alcohol makes you unsafe to drive – with tougher penalties and enhanced traffic policing to enforce it. Think – how many more lives will be destroyed or ruined if we don't act now?"

Brake campaigns for a zero-tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood through its not a drop, not a drag campaign, and is urging all political parties to make this a key manifesto commitment for the 2015 general election. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, hashtag #NotADrop.

Facts
One in eight deaths on UK roads are caused by drink drivers over the current legal limit [7] of 80mg alcohol per 100 ml blood. Drivers with even 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol in their blood [8]. This is because even small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times, judgment and co-ordination. Alcohol also makes it impossible for drivers to assess their own impairment because it creates a false sense of confidence and means drivers are more inclined to take risks and believe they are in control when they are not [9]. Find out more.

Brake's advice
Even very small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times and hazard perception, making them much more likely to crash, even if they don't feel drunk or even tipsy. The only way to ensure you're safe is to not drink any alcohol before driving, and never drive the morning after having more than one or two drinks. As a passenger, only accept a lift with a driver who's had no alcohol at all.

Planning ahead to get home safely will help avoid getting into an awkward or risky situation, such as having to refuse a lift from a driver who has had alcohol. If you're getting a lift back from a BBQ, party or night out with someone, make sure they are 100% on board with not having any alcohol at all. Always have a plan B just in case a designated driver lets you down, or arrange from the outset to get a taxi or public transport instead.

Calls for government action
Brake calls for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, to send a clear message that it should be none for the road. This allows for naturally occurring alcohol in the body, and is a limit set by numerous other countries including Sweden, Poland and Greece. The EU recommends a limit of no more than 50mg, and within the EU only Malta shares the UK's limit of 80mg. Governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have announced intentions to reduce their limits to 50mg, and in Northern Ireland, newly qualified drivers and commercial drivers will have a zero tolerance limit of 20mg.

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

End notes
[1] Reported drink drive accidents and casualties (estimates): Great Britain, annually from 1979, Department for Transport, 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras51-reported-drinking-and-driving 
[2] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2012, Department for Transport, 2014
[3] Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010
[4] Reported drink drive accidents and casualties (estimates): Great Britain, annually from 1979, Department for Transport, 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras51-reported-drinking-and-driving 
[5] Reported road casualties in Great Britain: estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2012 (final), Department for Transport, 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341271/drink-drive-final-estimates-2012.pdf 
[6] Department for Transport: How thirty years of drink drive communications saved almost 2,000 lives, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, 2012 https://gcn.civilservice.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Department_for_Transport_How_thirty_years_of_drink_drive_communications_saved.pdf 
[7] Reported road casualties in Great Britain: estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2012 (final), Department for Transport, 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341271/drink-drive-final-estimates-2012.pdf 
[8] Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010
[9] ibid

Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland, June 2007

june07Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland
Alistair Carmichael MP is campaigning to stop the horrifying number of deaths and injuries caused by drink-drivers in the UK. Throughout June, he raised awareness of the problem in Parliament and through the media, urging the Government to lower the drink-drive limit and increase the number of dedicated roads policing officers enforcing the law.

Alistair gathered information through Parliamentary questions, finding that:

  • the number of people killed in drink-drive crashes has risen by 26%, from 460 in 1999 to 580 in 2004 (Hansard, 19 Jun 2007 : Column 1776W)
  • there was a 35% rise in the number of people convicted of ‘causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs’ between 1999 and 2004. The number shot up from 46 to 62 in just five years (Hansard, 25 Jun 2007 : Column 342W)
  • the number of women found guilty of drink or drug driving has risen by 58% in the last 10 years, from 6,793 in 1995 to 10,765 in 2004. The number of men found guilty of drink or drug driving fell slightly (from 85,693 in 1995 to 85,473 in 2004) but remains much higher than the number of women (Hansard, 20 Jun 2007 : Column 1956W)
  • a total of 577,600 breath tests were carried out in 2004 (Hansard, 22 May 2007 : Column 1246W)

Alistair worked with press to gain support and momentum for his campaign. After issuing a press release to highlight the topic, Alistair and the Liberal Democrats were featured commenting on drink-driving in many national papers, including the Independent.

Alistair’s campaign coincided with road safety minister Stephen Ladyman’s announcement at a conference that the Government was considering cutting the legal alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, in line with EC recommendations and the vast majority of EU countries. The Liberal Democrats have actively campaigned for this change since adopting this measure as a party policy several years ago. Following the minister’s announcement, Alistair stepped up his campaign, urging a lower drink-drive limit and to calling for more police officers on the roads to enforce the law. He also issued a press release on this topic.

Brake’s website has more information and advice on drink-driving.

Brake annual reception, January 2017

Speech by Mary Williams OBE, chief executive, Brake, annual reception for the charity, Westminster, 25 January 2017

To quote Martin Luther King, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Time is an unruly beast however. 

It has a habit of speeding up and slowing down.

For busy families, and busy workers, in our busy world, it moves fast. The temptation to multi-task; to drive while on a smart phone, to break speed limits, to take the car rather than cycle and save the planet, are life-threatening, climate endangering behaviours fuelled by pressures of time. They cause drivers to prioritise ‘in the moment’, wrongly, and to devastating effect.

Time can stop in a moment.

Time grinds to a halt when someone is killed or seriously injured in a road crash. Our routines are suspended. Suddenly, our attention is focussed.

It’s beautifully summed up in WH Auden’s famous poem so often used at funerals.  “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone. Scribble on the sky the message “he is dead”.”

Yet, consumed by grief and distress, we are given a strange and precious gift. We are given the gift of sight. We can see what matters above all – people and life. As Auden puts it: “he was my north, my south, my east, my west.”

Whether we can see it or not, the time is always right to put humanity first.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” 

There are so many affected families who work alongside Brake, bravely, to fight for humanity. To fight for what others cannot see through the haze of the day to day.

To fight for appropriately grave sentences for drivers who kill and injure through wanton actions:

use of smart phones and other on-board screens.

drink and drug driving.

speeding, or driving unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured.

knowingly driving a mechanically unfit vehicle or driving tired.  

Campaigning takes time – frustrating amounts of time. Brake has been fighting for tougher sentences for more than 20 years. Last year, working with affected families, we elevated our Roads to Justice campaign in the media.

The current government consultation road traffic offences provides a real and urgent opportunity to redress paltry sentencing.

There are so many campaigns that Brake has found, to our cost, take inordinate time, when the road ahead seems so clear.

There are so many campaigns we have consistently supported, are still outstanding and that this government has a chance to resolve. 

A reduction in the drink drive limit, to stop our country being infamous for having the highest limit in Europe.

The government has the public with them. More than three quarters of drivers we surveyed in partnership with Direct Line think our limit is too high.

Approved testing devices to catch MDMA and cocaine drivers.

20mph limits as a default for built up roads.

A country-wide network of segregated cycle lanes that connect places, enabling, fast, healthy, zero emission transport.

Prioritisation of pedestrianisation, with wide and safe pavements, crossing places and livable traffic free spaces, enabling people to move our bodies, talk to our children, meet our neighbours. Invigorating communities.

A country with transport powered by clean fuels, to end the carnage of respiratory deaths from particulate pollution. There is more than one way a vehicle can kill you.  

Vehicles, speed, air pollution and people just don’t mix. It’s possible, but not yet, that automated vehicles of the future will be able to stop on a penny for every hazard.

But that doesn’t and will never change our need to move our bodies, and consequently be healthy, happy people, particularly our children and their need to walk, run, hop and skip in safety and while breathing clean air.   

This week’s very high air pollution warning in London and the mayor’s announcement of “toxic air audits” at London schools drives home the importance of super-charging policy measures to enable low-carbon transport. 

Brake is fighting for a world that is safe, green, clean and fair, with zero road casualties and emissions from transport. This is a vision of sustainable mobility.

The United Nation’s 2020 deadline is rapidly approaching, for a halving of road deaths and injuries globally through safe systems and the 2030 goal of clean transport.  

This government has the power to stop the clock. To see what needs to be done. To be at the forefront of road safety solutions globally.

Over the past year, Brake has looked hard at our role providing education. We’ve particularly reflected on the difficulties of a campaigning, awareness raising charity achieving immediate behavioural change among individual drivers. Our surveys tell us time and again that many drivers understand risks, and do it anyway.

More than half of 25-34 year old drivers we questioned last year admitted sending or reading messages while driving.

Behavioural changes takes time. We haven’t got time.

The reality is that, while Brake can raise awareness, change needs to come from the top, and fast. 

To provide more funding for victim support.

To eliminate road casualties through safe systems.

To enable all vehicles to be clean vehicles.

But together we are so much stronger. I want to thank all supporters of the charity who help enable that change.

The families bereaved and injured, and their supportive communities, who raise awareness of the cause and fundraise.

The teachers who promote Road Safety Week in their schools, enabling children to pester power their parents to slow down.

The police and other road safety professionals, particularly family liaison officers, doing such an important task supporting affected families.

The companies prioritising managing their road risk, investing in low-carbon transport, or providing funds to the charity.

To our governments for part-funding Road Safety Week and our national victim helpline.

And last but not least to the Brake team of staff I am privileged to work with, many of whom are here tonight also.

When a life ends, time is suspended. We have clarity. Let’s use that clarity to keep fighting for humanity. 

 

 

Brake backs Police Federation plea for lower drink drive limit and calls for greater priority for life-saving roads policing

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Brake, the road safety charity, has given its strong backing to calls made today (19 May 2015) by the Police Federation – the staff association for all police constables, sergeants and inspectors in England and Wales – for a lower drink drive limit, following evidence from Scotland that the lower limit introduced there last year has led to a marked reduction in drink driving rates [1].

The call is being made at the Police Federation’s annual conference, being held in Bournemouth this week. The Police Federation is also highlighting what it calls the “unprecedented cuts” suffered by roads policing units in the last five years, leaving them unable to properly enforce life-saving road safety laws [2].

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Brake agrees with the Police Federation that the UK drink drive limit – one of the highest in Europe – needs to be lowered. We would like to see an effective zero-tolerance limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood. This would make it clear that even small amounts of alcohol affect your ability to drive safely, and end the widespread confusion over whether it’s safe and acceptable to have one or two drinks and drive. Research is clear that even very small amounts of alcohol impair, hence it should always be ‘none for the road’ – not a drop.

“Brake also echoes the Police Federation’s concern over the severe cuts that have been made to roads policing in recent years, which have been disproportionally heavier than cuts to other areas of policing. Given that enhanced traffic policing offers a huge return on investment and a way to avert needless casualties and suffering, this makes no rational, moral or economic sense. Brake urges the government to make traffic policing a national priority and give officers the backing and resources they need to do their job.”

Brake campaigns for a zero-tolerance drink drive limit through its not a drop, not a drag campaign, and for prioritised police traffic enforcement through its crackdown campaign. Tweet us @Brakecharity, #notadrop, #crackdown.

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

End notes

[1] Charity welcomes reduction in Scotland’s drink driving rates, Brake, 9 January 2015

[2] Women’s drink driving comes under scrutiny, Police Federation, 19 May 2015

Brake calls for zero-tolerance on at-work drink- and drug-drivers

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk

Employers are being urged to implement zero-tolerance policies on at-work drink- and drug-driving by road safety charity Brake, as a Brake and Licence Bureau survey finds fewer than half (44%) would dismiss an employee for driving over the legal alcohol limit.

Published today (14 May) in a report for employers with staff who drive for work by Brake's Fleet Safety Forum, the survey reveals:

  • More than half never test employees for alcohol (55%) or drugs (57%)
  • Four in 10 (44%) would dismiss an employee found driving over the legal limit for alcohol
  • Six in 10 (62%) take disciplinary action against employees found to have any amount of alcohol or illegal drugs in their system at work, but only three in 10 (30%) would dismiss employees for this
  • Fewer than half (47%) educate drivers on the risks of drug-driving, and only slightly more (50%) educate drivers on the risks of drink-driving.

It is vital that any employer with staff who drive for work takes steps to prevent drink and drug driving. Drink-driving accounts for one in six UK road deaths [1], and even very small amounts of alcohol impair driving [2]. Research suggests almost a quarter (24%) of road deaths in the UK involve at least one illegal drug or medicine [3].

Previous Brake research has found people who drive for work are susceptible to these risks. They are more likely to admit to driving first thing after having drunk a lot of alcohol the night before, and to driving after taking illegal drugs, than drivers who do not drive for work [4].

The survey also found many employers don't have crucial practices in place to manage other fitness drive issues, like tiredness, stress and poor eyesight, which can lead to devastating and costly crashes:

  • Only four in 10 (42%) regularly review schedules and workloads to ensure drivers are not put under undue pressure that could lead to stress or tiredness
  • Only six in 10 (60%) stipulate that employees should stop and rest if they feel sleepy at the wheel
  • Only one in four (25%) require staff who drive for work to have a full eyesight test every two years.

Brake is urging all employers with staff who drive for work – whether they have a fleet of commercial vehicles, company cars, or staff driving their own vehicles on company time – to implement policies and procedures to ensure their drivers are sober, alert, not stressed or tired, and have good eyesight.

Steps such as introducing zero-tolerance policies on drink and drugs, requiring regular eye tests, and managing workloads and schedules, can help organisations prevent devastating crashes, reduce insurance and repair costs, and improve their reputation. See advice below. Employers can access more detailed advice from Brake by ordering the report and joining Brake's Fleet Safety Forum at www.brakepro.org/survey2014pt1.

Laura Woods, research and information officer at Brake, says: "It is desperately worrying that so many employers are lacking the tough approach needed to tackle drink and drug driving at work. This is highly dangerous, selfish risk-taking that should be treated as gross misconduct. People who drive for work should be clear that there is no safe amount to drink before driving – not a drop. We're appealing to all employers with staff who drive for work to ensure their drivers know the risks, know the rules, and know that breaking the rules will not be tolerated. Employers can use Brake's Fleet Safety Forum guidance to review their driving policies and practices, and ensure their drivers are always fit to drive."

Les Owen from Licence Bureau says: "Too many companies bury their head in the sand about road risk management, but this is not helping their business nor making our roads safer. This report identifies the state of companies' management of fitness to drive issues. Companies have a responsibility to manage the at-work safety of staff who drive just as much as staff performing construction, electrical, engineering or other duties, and should consider their corporate social responsibility when reading this report. If all employers acted positively, one step at a time, to implement the recommendations in this report it would make a big difference to road safety, result in fewer collisions, and benefit many businesses' bottom line. All companies can make a huge difference to safety by following these recommendations, whether they already engage with Brake or not."

Brake's advice for employers

Drink- and drug-driving are deadly risks. Any amount of alcohol or illegal drug use at work should be considered gross misconduct. This zero-tolerance policy should be supported by comprehensive alcohol and drugs education, covering such inadvertent risks as 'morning-after' drink driving, and the risks from medicines such as hayfever drugs. Workplace testing for drugs and alcohol will ensure employees are following the rules and help spot any problem drivers before they cause a crash.

Safe drivers are well-rested, alert, and stress-free. Employers should talk to their drivers about any health concerns, including stress from their work or home life, to flag up any problems that might affect their driving. It is also important to manage schedules to ensure drivers have sufficient rest time, and are not put under undue pressure that could cause stress or encourage them to take risks such as speeding.

Good eyesight is fundamental to safe driving, so employers should require drivers to have eye tests at least every two years, preferably funded by the organisation.

The Fleet Safety Forum survey report gives further guidance and best practice case studies in managing fitness to drive issues. Employers can order the report at www.brakepro.org/survey2014pt1

About the report

The survey results come from Brake and Licence Bureau's Fleet Safety Forum Survey Report Part One: Fit to Drive, released today (Wednesday 14 May 2014). 228 organisations that employ drivers responded to the survey, which was conducted online through SurveyMonkey.

Brake advises and supports companies to manage their road risk through its Fleet Safety Forum. The survey report is available for free to Fleet Safety Forum subscribers, or can be purchased for £5 by non-subscribers. Special offer: the first 25 non-subscribers to request the report through our online form will get a copy for FREE.

 

 

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, a Fleet Safety Forumpractitioner services, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

The Fleet Safety Forum is a not-for-profit service for fleet managers run by Brake. Subscribers receive: free and discounted access to Brake's professional events; free training in Brake's Pledge to stop dangerous and unnecessary driving; e-bulletins containing the latest initiatives and research in fleet and road safety from across the globe; password access to the Brake Professional website containing guidance for managers and a host of resources for drivers; and posters. Annual subscription costs £155 +VAT. Subscribe at www.brakepro.org, call +44 (0)1484 559909 or email professional@brake.org.uk.

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties in Great Britain: Estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels, Department for Transport, 2013

[2] Official blame for drivers with very low blood alcohol content, University of California, 2014

[3] The incidence of drugs and alcohol in road accident fatalities, Transport Research Laboratory, 2001

[4] At-work drivers: drink and drugs, Brake and Direct Line, 2012

Brake comments on increase in drink-driving crashes in 2016

News from Brake
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
 
The Department for Transport has published provisional estimates [1] on personal injury drink drive crashes in Great Britain for 2016 [2]. These show a statistically significant rise in all key crash data, relating to at least one driver being over the alcohol limit: the number of fatalities; the number of killed or injured; and the total number of crashes [3].
 
Commenting on the statistics, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “These figures must be a wake-up call to the Government, forcing them to act now to eradicate the menace of drink-driving from our roads. The number of drink-drive related deaths, injuries and total crashes in 2016 have all increased from levels which were already unacceptable. This deeply concerning trend highlights the urgent need for the Government to enforce an effective zero tolerance drink-driving level across the UK [4].
 
“Research has shown even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving - drivers with just 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol at all [5].
 
“The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive. Only by changing this perception can we eradicate the needless loss of life caused by alcohol on our roads. Brake is calling for the Government to implement an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe.”
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors
 
[1] Updated 2016 final estimates for casualties in reported drink-drive accidents are scheduled to be published in August 2018.
[3] “Provisional estimates for 2016 show that between 200 and 280 people were killed in accidents in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, with a central estimate of 240 deaths… An estimated 9,050 people were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit… The total number of collisions and accidents where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit rose by 6 per cent to 6,080 in 2016”
 
About Brake
 
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
 
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
 
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.
 

Brake comments on increase in drink-driving deaths and injuries

News from Brake
Thursday, 9 August 2018
 
The Department for Transport has today (Thursday 9 August) published statistics on drink drive crashes in Great Britain for 2016 [1]. This shows drink-driving deaths and injuries are at the highest level since 2012 and that there has been an estimated increase in the number of road deaths, the number of injuries, and the total number of crashes relating to at least one driver being over the alcohol limit. 
 
Commenting on the statistics, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said:
“How many more lives must be needlessly lost before the Government acts on drink-driving? Today’s figures show that drink-driving is an increasing blight on British roads and yet the Government sits on its hands and refuses to address the issue. The Government should put its money where its mouth is and align the law with the message from its 'Think!’ campaign: “if you’re driving, it’s better to have none for the road”. Only this zero-tolerance approach can create the change required to rid our roads of the menace of drink-driving.”
 
“The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive – this is a dangerous message and one that couldn’t be further from the truth. Research has shown even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving - drivers with levels of alcohol in their blood just half the current legal limit are at least twice more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol at all.”
 
“Our current drink-driving law lacks clarity, is badly understood and supports the perception that mixing alcohol and driving is acceptable – this needs to change. Brake is calling for the Government to implement an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe.”
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors
 
 

Final estimates of casualties in accidents involving at least one driver or rider over the drink-drive limit in Great Britain for 2016 show that:

  • between 220 and 250 people were killed in drink-drive accidents, with a central estimate of 230 fatalities
  • the increase in drink-drive fatalities since 2015 is not statistically significant, continuing a period of stability recorded since 2010
  • an estimated 9,040 people were killed or injured in drink-drive accidents, a rise of 7% since 2015
  • the total number of drink-drive accidents rose by 6% to 6,070 in 2016
 
[2] Brake ‘Driving for zero’ campaign
 
 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments on new drink driving figures

News from Brake
Thursday 3 August, 2017
news@brake.org.uk

Two hundred people were killed in car crashes in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink drive limit, according to new Department for Transport figures. While the number of people killed in drink drive related collisions fell in 2015, the numbers killed and seriously injured, as well as  drink drive collisions, both rose [1].

Commenting on the new figures, Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Selfish drink drivers destroy lives and inflict appalling suffering on families up and down the country. There will be more, unrecorded, casualties involving drivers impaired by alcohol but under the current limit.

"The drink drive limit in England and Wales is the second highest in Europe and must be lowered urgently. In addition, savage cuts to road traffic policing must be reversed and enforcement increased to crack down on dangerous drink drivers."

[ENDS]

Notes to editors:

[1] 1,370 people were estimated to have been killed or seriously injured in drink drive crashes in 2015 in England and Wales. The estimated total number of crashes where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit rose by 2 per cent to 5,730 in 2015. Full DfT report: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/635345/road-accidents-illegal-alcohol-levels-2015-final.pdf

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.

We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments on Spurs' Captain, Hugo Lloris, guilty plea to drink driving charge

News from Brake
Wednesday 12 September
 
Tottenham Hotspur Goalkeeper and Captain, Hugo Lloris, has today pleaded guilty to drink driving after being stopped by Police in West London last month.
 
The case comes only weeks after figures published by the Department for Transport showed that the number of people killed or seriously injured in drink drive crashes in 2016 is at the highest level since 2012.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
“It is disappointing to see that someone who is a role model to many thousands of football fans has admitted breaking the law by drink driving. We expect the captain of Tottenham Hotspur and his national team to be setting a good example, not flouting the law in such a manner. This kind of dangerous behaviour is selfish, illegal and puts lives at risk.”
 
“Drink driving is an increasing menace on our roads. The current limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive – it is not. It is high time that the Government takes decisive action before any more lives are needlessly lost and implements an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe.”
 
 
[ENDS]
 
 
Notes to editors:
About Brake
 
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments on Wayne Rooney's guilty drink driving plea

News from Brake
Monday, 18 September 2017
news@brake.org.uk

Wayne Rooney has this morning pleaded guilty at Stockport Magistrates' Court to a charge of drink driving. Reacting to the news, Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Drink driving is an abhorrent crime which can end innocent lives and inflict unimaginable trauma. Public figures should be setting a positive example of safe driving behaviour.

"Any amount of alcohol seriously affects the chances of being involved in a potentially deadly crash. The drink drive limit in England and Wales is the second highest in the European Union and must be lowered to a zero-tolerance, to help reduce needless deaths and serious injury on our roads."

[ENDS]

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.

We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake criticises first motorway pub as a dangerous temptation

21 January 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

In response to news of a pub opening at a motorway service station in Buckinghamshire today, Ellie Pearson, Brake spokesperson, said:

"The opening of a pub on a motorway is deeply concerning, as it presents a potentially deadly temptation to drivers. Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our road, causing devastation to families and communities every day. It is vitally important that messages about the dangers of drink driving are as strong and clear as possible, so drivers know it's not okay to have even a single drink ahead of getting behind the wheel. Research clearly shows that even small amounts of alcohol can be lethal if you're driving, so our advice to drivers is simple: never drink any alcohol if you're driving – not a drop."

Read about Brake's Not a drop, not a drag campaign.

Brake
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

 

Brake echoes police calls, warning young people of dangers of drink and drug driving

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Brake, the road safety charity, has praised police for their efforts to catch drink and drug drivers over the festive period but has expressed concern that a significant minority of drivers – especially among the younger age group – are continuing to endanger lives.

An increasingly intelligence-led approach by officers resulted in fewer breath tests this year, down to 133,996, but a higher rate of drivers testing positive, with 5,885, or 4.39%, failing breath testsaccording to figures released by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Among these, 28,228 under-25s were tested, with a 6.33% failure rate, compared to 3.94% of over-25s. 

Brake is warning there is still a long way to go to stamp out the menace of drink and drug driving throughout the year. According to a Brake and Direct Line survey, many continue to take the deadly risk of driving after drinking and many feel unable to speak out to stop others doing it [1].

Brake also warns that many who pass the breath test could be unsafe to drive due to the England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s high drink drive limit. Scotland reduced its drink drive limit on 5 December 2014, to 50mg per 100ml of blood. Brake is renewing its calls for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg per 100ml blood. See calls for action below and the facts on why it should be none for the road.

Brake is also urging the government to give greater priority to traffic policing and ensure sufficient resourcing is available for vital drink and drug driving enforcement, following significant cuts [2], and especially ahead of a new drug drive law coming into force in England and Wales on 2 March.

Brake urges all drivers never to drink any alcohol or take any drugs before driving: not a drop, not a drag. See Brake’s advice below.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“It is encouraging to see police increasingly using an intelligence-led approach to catching drink and drug drivers, and their Christmas and summer enforcement campaigns remain vitally important. Drink driving is still one of the biggest killers on our roads and we have some way to go before we persuade all drivers to commit to never driving after drinking. It’s especially worrying that the message is not getting through to a significant minority of young people. People who persist in drink driving needlessly put the lives of others at risk and too often cause crashes that devastate families and communities, all for the sake of a drink. Our message is clear: it should be none for the road.”

The police figures coincide with Brake launching a new interactive e-learning resource, ‘Sober up’, produced with sponsorship from Hitachi Capital Driving Instructor Solutions. The resource is available at brake.org.uk/soberup and can be used by drivers and families directly, as well as by educators, employers and road safety practitioners to engage groups of young people and drivers on the issue of drink and drug driving.

Read about Brake’s ‘not a drop, not a drag’ campaign.

Facts

One in six deaths on UK roads are caused by drink drivers over the current legal limit [3], but drivers with even 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol in their blood [4]. This is because even small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times, judgment and co-ordination. Alcohol also makes it impossible for drivers to assess their own impairment because it creates a false sense of confidence and means drivers are more inclined to take risks and believe they are in control when they are not [5].

Brake’s advice

Even very small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times and hazard perception, making them much more likely to crash. This is the case even if the driver doesn't feel drunk or even tipsy. So the only way to ensure you're safe if you're driving this festive season is not drink any alcohol before driving, and never drive the morning after having more than one or two drinks. And as a passenger, only accept a lift with a driver who's had no alcohol at all.

Planning ahead to get home safely will help you avoid getting into an awkward or risky situation, such as having to refuse a lift from a driver who has had alcohol. If you're getting a lift back from a night out with someone, make sure they are 100% on board with not having any alcohol at all. Always have a plan B just in case a designated driver lets you down, or arrange from the outset to get a taxi or public transport instead.

Calls for government action

Brake calls for a zero tolerance limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, to send a clear message that it should be none for the road. This allows for naturally occurring alcohol in the body, and is a limit set by numerous other countries including Sweden, Poland and Greece. The EU recommends a limit of no more than 50mg, and within the EU only Malta shares the UK's limit of 80mg alcohol. Governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have announced intentions to reduce their limits to 50mg alcohol per 100ml blood. In Northern Ireland, newly qualified drivers and commercial drivers will have a zero tolerance limit of 20mg.

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on Twitter or Facebook. Follow Julie Townsend on Twitter.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

End notes

[1]Christmas party-goers urged to help save lives by standing up to ‘designated drivers’ who drink, as survey shows we’re still too timid, Brake, 10 December 2013
[2] Huge roads policing cuts put public at risk, warns charity, Brake, 23 January 2012
[3] Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2012 Annual Report, Department for Transport, 2013, includes those drivers who were involved in crashes but were under the legal limit.
[4] National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010. Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
[5] ibid

Brake joins road safety groups and emergency services to call for lower drink-drive limit

10 October 2016
news@brake.org.uk

Public opinion polls show 77% in favour of a lower legal limit

Today, Brake, the road safety charity has joined a wide range other groups calling for MPs to reduce the UK’s high drink driving limit. See notes to editors for the full list.

There is also strong public support for lowering the limit, with the British Social Attitude Survey recently finding that three quarters of the public (77%) support lowering the drink driving limit.[i]

The Government state that drink driving ‘remains a priority’, but there has been no reduction in the number of drink driving deaths since 2010.

  • Every year drink driving causes 240 deaths and more than 8,000 casualties in the UK. This costs £800 million a year.
  • 60% of those who are killed or injured are people other than the driver, such as passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.
  • In England and Wales the drink-drive limit is set at 80mg alcohol/100ml blood and has been since 1965.

England and Wales have one of the highest drink drive limits in the world. Set 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, it is greater than the rest of Europe (with the exception only of Malta), as well as Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Lowering our drink drive limit to 50mg alcohol/100ml blood would reduce drink driving deaths by at least 10%.

The Government of Malta recently announced plans to lower the drink drive limit to 50mg this month in a new National Alcohol Policy to reduce harm.(1)

Scotland lowered its limit to 50mg in December 2014, and police figures showed a 12.5% decrease in drink-drive offences in the first nine months.(2) Northern Ireland is set to lower its drink driving limit before the end of 2016.

A two-minute animation has been produced by the Institute of Alcohol Studies to support this campaign, outlining the key arguments: http://www.ias.org.uk/lowerlimit

Gary Rae, Brake’s director of communications and campaigns, said: “Drink driving remains one of the biggest causes of devastating road crashes; often young and inexperienced drivers and passengers are involved and frequently they are the tragic victims. We must continue to send a clear message to all drivers that drinking and driving is a lethal cocktail. It's shocking to see how many crashes, many involving deaths and serious injuries, have involved men in their 20s. This call to action today is a useful stepping stone to a time when there is a zero alcohol limit.”

Katherine Brown, Director at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, said: “Recent decades have seen great improvements in road safety, but progress on drink driving has ground to a halt. With hundreds of lives lost each year, we can’t afford to let England and Wales fall behind our neighbours in road safety standards. “It’s time the Government looked at the evidence and what other countries are doing to save lives and make roads safer. We need to make drink driving a thing of the past, and to do this we need a lower drink drive limit.

Notes to editors:

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns,community educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

More information on drink driving, with fully referenced statistics and information on drink driving accidents across England and Wales broken down by region, can be found here – www.ias.org.uk/lowerlimit

Drink driving background info:

In England and Wales the drink-drive limit is set at 80mg alcohol/100ml blood and has been since 1965. Drivers who drink up to this limit are six times more likely to be killed in an accident as drivers who have not consumed alcohol.

The cost of UK drink driving accidents and casualties is £800 million per year.(3) This does not include the 40% of fatal accidents where people have alcohol within their system, but are below the 80mg limit.(4)

Drink driving leads to 240 deaths and more than 8000 casualties each year.

The Department for Transport calculate that 60% of those who are killed or injured in reported drink driving incidents are people other than the driver, such as passengers, other road users or pedestrians.(5)

Organisations lending their support to the animation calling for a lower drink drive limit include:

 

The RAC Foundation The AA
Institute of Advanced Motoring Campaign Against Drink Driving
Insure the Box BRAKE: The Road Safety Charity
Allianz Abellio
Medical Council on Alcohol Spectrum Community Health
Alcohol Health Alliance The Royal College of Emergency Medicine
British Medical Journal Royal College of Practitioners
Royal Society of Public Health College of Paramedics
SCARD: Support & Care After Road Death & Injury Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Roadpeace
Fire Brigades Union Police Federation
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Durham Police and Crime Commissioner

 

References:

(1)  Malta National Government (Oct 2016) Alcohol Policy Document

(2)  BBC News (29 May 2015) Drink-drive offences fall after lower limit introduced.

(3)  Institute of Alcohol Studies. Drink driving factsheet.

(4)  Department for Transport (2016) Proportion of killed drivers/riders resulting from reported accidents by BAC category

(5)  Department for Transport (2016) Estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2014 (final)

[i] Telegraph (20th Sep 2016) Three quarters of people think the drink driving limit should be lowered.

Brake responds to Northern Ireland drink driving consultation

Regulations to introduce measures to tackle drink driving in Northern Ireland - Response from Brake, the road safety charity, May 2015.

Brake is a road safety charity working with communities and organisations across the UK to stop the tragedy of road deaths and injuries, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and support people bereaved and seriously injured on roads.

Question 1 - Do you have any comments on the Department’s approach to introducing fixed penalties for lower level drink driving offences?

To keep our roads as safe as possible, action must always be taken when someone is caught drink-driving to act as both a deterrent and a punishment. Brake welcomes the concept of fixed penalty notices but is disappointed there is no automatic disqualification for every level of the offence. Drink-driving at any level is dangerous and life-threatening, and we must use all available powers to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Brake is concerned that if drivers know they MAY NOT lose their licence after a first offence, this could increase risk taking. If drivers only face a fine, penalty points and a training course after a first “lower level” offence, they may risk drink-driving a first time, making our roads more dangerous than they should be and putting lives at risk.

We believe the possibility of this dangerous behaviour happening in the first place would be reduced if drivers knew they would also lose their licence after a first offence. Research shows that the fear of losing your driving licence has a powerful impact on driving behaviour. [1] There is also evidence of the effectiveness of a one-strike-and-you-are-out policy from Ontario, Canada. They have immediate roadside suspension for drivers with 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood or above, and this is associated with a 17% decrease in the number of people injured or killed in drink-drive crashes in the region. [2]

The objective of a training course that will enable a driver to develop non offending behaviour is welcome and we are pleased this will run alongside and not replace the points and fine. Education and enforcement must go hand in hand [3] and a course should never replace other penalties and punishments.

Research by the Transport Research Lab on the effectiveness of these types of courses shows they do work, but have different effects on different types of drivers. [4] They are most successful for drivers in their 30s, but the evidence shows 17.8% of young men in the lowest social group of course attenders had reoffended after 72 months. To effectively target younger drivers we need a more comprehensive deterrent and punishment. We believe including an immediate driving ban would be more effective. We need to send a strong, clear message that drink-driving is never acceptable at any level, to keep all road users safe, and to stop dangerous and risky behaviour before it starts.   

Likewise if the zero-tolerance alcohol limit that will be in place for new and professional drivers was in place for all drivers, it would be a much clearer and more effective deterrent. 

In Sweden the decision to lower the drink-drive limit to an effective zero tolerance of 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood was accompanied by an automatic licence loss at 30mg. Since making the decision to match the reduction in the drink-drive limit with clear a deterrent, Sweden has seen  a 7% reduction in crashes overall and a 10% reduction in fatal crashes [5]. 

By offering lower-level drink-drivers a reduced level of punishment, it could be perceived that lower-level drink-driving is less of an offence. Research shows any amount of alcohol makes you more likely to crash. [6] Even very small amounts of alcohol affect your driving. Drivers with even 10mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood are 46% more likely to be at fault in collisions than sober drivers [7], and when they crash, do more damage than sober drivers [8]. That’s why the only safe amount to drink if you’re driving is nothing at all – not a drop.

Question 2 - Do you have any comments on the Department’s approach to the restriction of the requirement to re-sit the driving test to those disqualified for 12 months or more for offences involving higher levels of alcohol?

Previous legislation saw anyone convicted of drink-driving lose their licence, and it’s not acceptable that people breaking drink-drive laws escape bans because of a change in legislation. We believe every drink-drive offence is serious and deserves a ban, as evidenced in our response to Q 1. Every ban should therefore entail a re-test. Driving is a privilege, not a right. If that privilege is not exercised responsibly, it must be revocable. The change in drink-drive laws is being brought in to reflect evidence that even small amounts of alcohol can have a dangerous impact on driving and this must be echoed by the punishment, if it is to be an effective deterrent. Laws need to be strong, clear and consistent. 

Brake believes there should be a mandatory driving ban for all drink-drive offenders even when the lower limit is imposed, and that this should be of at least one year for all offenders. This reflects the level of danger posed by those who drive after drinking even a small amount of alcohol (again as evidenced in the Q1 response) and sends a clear message to drivers that no level of drink-driving will be tolerated.

Question 3 - Do you agree with the Department’s approach to reducing the threshold for High Risk Offenders to 125mg/100mls?

YES - All drink driving is high risk and extremely dangerous but we do appreciate the legal need to have some categorisation for legal purposes. We welcome this proportionate reduction that means “High Risk” will still be 2.5 times the limit. It should certainly not be any higher.

Question 4 - Do you have any comments to make on the consultation process?    

We are extremely grateful to be asked to use our 20 years of experience in road safety and supporting bereaved families affected by road deaths to contribute to this consultation. The process has been smooth and clear, with comprehensive explanatory notes.

Overall Brake welcomes the planned reductions to the drink-drive limit that will undoubtedly make roads safer and save lives. This is a great step in the right direction by the Northern Ireland Assembly who must be praised for taking it. It’s a useful step forward towards a zero-tolerance drink-drive limit being called for by Brake across the UK. 

We recognise it is beyond the scope of this consultation, but our roads and all road users will not be as safe as they can be until we have zero tolerance across the whole of the UK. The UK as a whole still has the highest drink-drive limits in Europe (along with Malta), and the position is becoming more and more bizarre as different nations adopt different rules and regulation. We need a strong clear zero-tolerance approach across the whole of the UK to let all drivers know drink-driving is not acceptable at any level anywhere in the UK.  

1) Does the Threat of Disqualification Deter Drivers from Speeding?, Department for Transport, 2008.

2) Evaluation of the general deterrence capacity of recently implemented (2009–2010) low and Zero BAC requirements for drivers in Ontario, Road User Safety Division, Ministry of Transportation, 2015.

3) World report on road traffic injury prevention, World Health Organisation, 2004.

4) Reconvictions of Drink/Drive Course Attenders: A Six Year Follow Up, Transport Research Laboratory, TRL574, 2003 

5) Drugs, Driving and Traffic Safety, J.C Verster, S.R. Pandi-Perumal, J. G Ramaekers and J.J de Gier 2009.

6) Drivers Over .08 BAC Pose a Serious Traffic Safety Problem, Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, 2009.

7) Official blame for drivers with very low blood alcohol content, British Medical Journal, 2014

8) The relationship between serious injury and blood alcohol concentration, University of California San Diego, 2011

 

 

 

 

Brake responds to Scottish drink driving study

News from Brake
Thursday 13 December
 
Road safety charity, Brake, has responded to a new study which found reducing the drink drive limit in Scotland did not lead to a reduction in road traffic crashes.
 
The study, lead by the University of Glasgow and published in The Lancet, compared road traffic collision rates in Scotland and in England and Wales before and after the new limit was introduced in Scotland.
 
The study's author, Professor Jim Lewsey of the University of Glasgow, suggested that a plausible explanation for the ‘negative findings’ could be ‘that the new blood alcohol limit was insufficiently enforced, publicised, or both.’
 
The reduced drink drive limit for drivers in Scotland was introduced in December 2014 and lowered the blood alcohol concentration limit from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg per 100ml of blood. For England and Wales, the drink drive limit remains 80mg per 100ml of blood.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake said:
“Simply put, the more alcohol in your system, the greater danger you pose as a driver and so whilst these results are surprising, they should not detract from the important step taken by the Scottish Government. Drink driving is an epidemic on Britain’s roads – the most recent stats show that drink-driving deaths and injuries are at the highest level since 2012, and action needs to be taken to end the carnage on our roads.
 
“We need a zero-tolerance approach to drink-driving, even tiny amounts of alcohol affect driver safety and current drink-drive limits support the dangerous perception that mixing alcohol and driving is acceptable. However, incremental progress is possible, desirable and will save lives. These findings reaffirm that enforcement and communication efforts are vital when changing the laws of our roads, and government must take these lessons onboard on the journey to zero-tolerance and ending the carnage caused by drink-driving.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes to Editors:
  • Study puclished in the Lancet - https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)33166-0/fulltext?rss=yes
 
  • The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research Programme. It was conducted by researchers from University of Glasgow, University of East Anglia, University of Stirling, and Public Health Observatory, NHS Health Scotland.

Brake survey indicates a growing public demand for the government to reduce the drink-drive limit

9 December 2016

Contact: news@brake.org.uk

  • More than three quarters (78%) of drivers think the current drink drive limit is too high
  • More than half of drivers (54%) think the drink drive limit should be dropped to an effective zero tolerance
  • 8 in 10 drivers think their driving is affected at around the current drink drive limit or below
  • More than 40 percent of drivers think their driving ability is affected by just one unit of alcohol

A new survey by Brake, the road safety charity and Direct Line has found that nearly 80% (78%) of drivers think the drink drive limit is too high and more than half (54%) of drivers think the drink drive limit should be reduced to an effective zero tolerance limit of 20mg/100ml.

The results of the survey suggest that the rest of the United Kingdom should follow Scotland’s lead in reducing the drink-drive limit. Currently the rest of the United Kingdom has the highest drink-drive limit in Europe with 80mg/100ml blood, whilst Scotland reduced their limit to 50mg/100ml in December 2014.

One in eight (13%) of road deaths on the United Kingdom’s roads [1] are caused by drink-driving which is why Brake calls for a zero tolerance drink-drive limit. This is in line with evidence that even 20-50mg/100ml alcohol in your blood makes you at least three times more likely to be killed in a crash [2]. A zero tolerance drink-drive limit may help stop the estimated 65 deaths a year caused by drivers who drink but are under the legal limit [3].

The drivers of the survey also felt that drinking some alcohol, which would’ve meant they were under the current drink-drive limit, would impair their driving. Eight in ten of drivers surveyed (79%) felt that having the equivalent of one pint of beer would affect their driving.

Case study

Daniel Glynn, from Kent, will never forget Christmas 2010. He spent Christmas Day in hospital, undergoing emergency surgery for injuries he suffered because he had caught a lift home from a party on Christmas Eve with a friend who'd been drinking.

They'd been out celebrating, and Daniel knew his friend had had a drink but didn't realise how much and accepted a lift anyway. Travelling back, Daniel's friend lost control and the vehicle span across the road and hit a tree at full force. Police reported the car was unrecognisable and the engine was found five metres away.

Daniel was taken to hospital, and was told he had broken all the ribs on his left side, his knee cap was badly damaged and his bowel had been ruptured. Daniel had to return to hospital a number of times for further treatment and repeat a year at college because of time out due to his injuries.

Daniel said: “I was naive. I thought it wouldn't happen to me, but I now know drink driving, or getting a lift with a drink driver, is never worth the risk. My life was turned upside down, and I went through months of terrible agony that could have easily been avoided. But I was one of the lucky ones: it could easily have ended both our lives. Now I'd never catch a lift with a driver who's been drinking, not even one drink, and I'd urge everyone to make the same commitment. Speaking up about drink driving isn't always easy, but it could save a life or prevent a horrific injury, so please speak out to friends and family, and if you're a driver, commit to never, ever, drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel.”

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, said: “Drink-driving, despite being more socially unacceptable, is still a major issue on our roads, especially as our current, legal drink-drive limit in England and Wales is the highest in Europe. This sends a confusing message and asks drivers to guess if they are under the limit.

Equally confusing is the stance of secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling, who said that the drink-drive limit wouldn’t be cut to penalise motorists for ‘having a glass of wine at the pub’. Cutting the drink-drive limit would be putting road users’ safety first and the reality is that a small amount of alcohol can impair your driving, as the evidence shows.

The only safe choice is not to drink at all before driving. The government need to do more and following Scotland in reducing the limit would be a start. However, only by having a zero tolerance approach to drink-driving will ever see a law which is clear to everyone. Here at Brake we are appealing to the public in the run up to Christmas to show zero tolerance on drink driving, and make the Brake Pledge to never get behind the wheel after any amount of alcohol.”

Rob Miles, director of car insurance at Direct Line said: “There is no excuse for drink-driving and so we urge those enjoying the festivities to plan their onward travel in advance by making use of public transport, taking a taxi, staying overnight or asking a sober friend or relative to pick them up”.

Make the Brake Pledge to never get behind the wheel after any amount of alcohol and watch Tina Wood’s story here

[1] DfT, Reported road casualties in Great Britain: Estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2014 (final) and 2015 (provisional),  2016

[2] Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010

[3] Reducing the BAC limit to 50mg - what can we expect to gain? Professor Richard E Allsop, Centre for Transport Studies, University College London (PACTS, 2005)

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths, serious injuries and pollution occurring on our roads every day. We work to make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake's vision is a world where there are zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair. We do this by pushing for legislative change through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

About Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

Brake urges drivers: save lives by pledging ‘not a drop not a drag’, as police launch drink and drug drive crackdown

Monday 1 June 1015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC, formerly the Association of Chief Police Officers) launches its annual summer drink and drug driving enforcement campaign today (1 June 2015). Brake, the road safety charity, is backing the campaign and urging drivers to enjoy themselves responsibly this summer, and pledge not to drink any alcohol or take any drugs before getting behind the wheel – not a drop, not a drag.

The enforcement campaign will see police across England and Wales stepping up roadside alcohol and drug checks, and warning the public about the risks. For the first time, the summer crackdown will see the use of roadside drug screeners, following the introduction of a zero-tolerance drug drive law in March 2015.

As part of last summer’s campaign, 63,688 drivers were breathalysed, of who 4,108 failed the test – a slightly increased failure rate on the year before, possibly due to increasingly targeted enforcement.

As the weather improves over the summer, some people may be tempted to have a drink as they travel to and from BBQs, festivals and other events. Brake is urging everyone to leave the car at home or ensure they have a completely sober designated driver for summer festivities, and to look out for friends and family by making sure they plan ahead to get home without putting lives at risk.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“We believe drink driving is becoming more and more socially unacceptable in the UK, further aided by the lowering of the drink drive limit in Scotland at the end of last year. The new drug drive law introduced in March was also an important step in catching risky impaired drivers. However, there is a long way to go to stamp out this menace completely, as a selfish minority continue to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs. We urge all drivers to ensure they are not part of that minority; instead we can all be part of the solution by making sure we can get home safely from summer festivities, and looking out for friends and family and ensuring they stay sober behind the wheel.

“Even one small drink or small amounts of drugs make you a danger on the road, so the only safe policy is not to drink or take drugs at all if you’re driving – not a drop, not a drag. Feeling fine does not mean you’re safe to drive. That’s why Brake continues to campaign for a zero-tolerance drink drive limit, and greater priority to be given to roads policing, to make clear drink and drug driving won’t be tolerated.”

Brake campaigns for a zero-tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood through itsnot a drop, not a drag campaign. Tweet us:@Brakecharity, #notadrop.

Facts

One in eight deaths on UK roads are caused by drink drivers over the current legal limit [1] of 80mg alcohol per 100 ml blood, but drivers with even 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol in their blood [2]. This is because even small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times, judgment and co-ordination. Alcohol also makes it impossible for drivers to assess their own impairment because it creates a false sense of confidence and means drivers are more inclined to take risks and believe they are in control when they are not [3].

Historically, levels of drug driving have not been fully recorded, but research suggests that the scale of the problem may be similar to drink-driving. A study by the Transport Research Laboratory found that 18% of drivers and 16% of motorcyclists killed in road crashes had traces of illegal drugs in their system, the most common being cannabis [4]. It's been estimated 200 deaths a year may result from drug driving [5].

Brake’s advice

Even very small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times and hazard perception, making them much more likely to crash, even if they don’t feel drunk or even tipsy. The only way to ensure you're safe is to not drink any alcohol before driving, and never drive the morning after having more than one or two drinks. As a passenger, only accept a lift with a driver who's had no alcohol at all.

Planning ahead to get home safely will help avoid getting into an awkward or risky situation, such as having to refuse a lift from a driver who has had alcohol. If you're getting a lift back from a BBQ, party or night out with someone, make sure they are 100% on board with not having any alcohol at all. Always have a plan B just in case a designated driver lets you down, or arrange from the outset to get a taxi or public transport instead.

Never risk taking illegal drugs and driving. Their effects are unpredictable, but research shows they can have a disastrous impact on your ability to drive safely. Drugs and alcohol is an especially deadly combination.

It is impossible to judge how impaired you are or if a friend is impaired, so if you or a mate has been taking drugs, you should assume you're unfit to drive, even if you feel okay.

The effects of drugs can last a long time. They can also badly disrupt sleep and make you a risk behind the wheel for days as a result. That's why you can't have illegal drugs and driving in your life at the same time without posing a danger to yourself and others.

Calls for government action

Brake calls for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, to send a clear message that it should be none for the road. This allows for naturally occurring alcohol in the body, and is a limit set by numerous other countries including Sweden, Poland and Greece. The EU recommends a limit of no more than 50mg, and within the EU only Malta shares the UK's limit of 80mg. The limit in Scotland has already been lowered to 50mg.

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, orThe Brake Blog. Follow Julie Townsend on Twitter.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

End notes

[1] Final estimate for 2012, from Reported road casualties in Great Britain, final estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2012, Department for Transport, 2014

[2] Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010

[3] ibid

[4]The Incidence of Drugs and Alcohol in Road Accident Fatalities, Transport Research Laboratory, 2000

[5] Driving under the influence of drugs: report from the expert panel on drug driving, Department for Transport, 2013

Brake urges public to stamp out drink driving as police launch summer crackdown

Monday 2 June 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, is today urging drivers to pledge not to drink any alcohol before getting behind the wheel this summer, as the Association of Chief Police Officers' (ACPO) month-long drink and drug driving enforcement campaign kicks off. The campaign will see police across England and Wales stepping up roadside alcohol and drug checks, and warning the public about the risks.

As part of last summer's campaign, 100,892 drivers were breathalysed, of whom 5,170 failed the test – a slight drop on the year before [1].

As the weather improves over the summer, some people may be tempted to have a drink as they travel to and from BBQs, festivals and other events – especially with the football World Cup looming large on the horizon. Brake is urging everyone to leave the car at home or ensure they have a completely sober designated driver for summer festivities, and to look out for friends and family to make sure they also plan ahead to get home without putting lives at risk.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our roads, yet every year thousands of drivers risk it. That's why it's so important that the police are out in force clamping down on this selfish behaviour, now and throughout the year. However, even if you're under the limit, you can still be a danger: even very small amounts of alcohol significantly affect your judgement and reactions at the wheel. We need everyone on board with the message that motor vehicles and alcohol – in any amount – don't mix. We're calling on drivers to pledge to never drive after drinking even one drink, and for government to introduce a zero-tolerance drink drive limit, to help stamp out the deadly menace of drink driving once and for all."

Read about Brake's Not a drop, not a drag campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, hashtag #notadrop.

Facts
One in six deaths on UK roads are caused by drink drivers over the current legal limit [2] of 80mg alcohol per 100 ml blood, but drivers with even 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol in their blood [3]. This is because even small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times, judgment and co-ordination. Alcohol also makes it impossible for drivers to assess their own impairment because it creates a false sense of confidence and means drivers are more inclined to take risks and believe they are in control when they are not [4].

Case study
Evey Staley, 10, from the Isle of Wight, was killed by a drink and drug driver on 24 August 2012. Her mum and dad, Neal and Penny Staley, were driving her to the shops to buy baking ingredients. As they pulled out of their driveway, their car was hit by another vehicle, driven by Robert Blakely, who was two and a half times over the drink drive limit and had been smoking cannabis. Evey's side of the car took the worst of the impact. Her 14 year old sister, Ellie, witnessed the crash from her bedroom window.

When Neal came round in hospital the next day, his wife was still in a coma, and he was told his daughter's head injuries were not survivable. He made the decision to turn off Evey's life support. Blakely was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Evey's family became the focus of Hampshire Constabulary's Christmas drink drive campaign in 2013, with a series of hard-hitting video interviews. Watch a new abridged version here – http://youtu.be/nim1sHlBFzQ – or for the full original series, see here – http://ow.ly/xl45F.

Neal Staley said: "Every day since we lost Evey has been painful – we will be like this for the rest of our lives. We take a crumb of comfort knowing she was killed pretty much instantaneously, that she didn't suffer; we could have had Ellie in the car as well, we could have lost both of them, we could have lost all of us. But why be so selfish to put a family in that position?

"Campaigning against drink and drug driving has helped us through, but it will never outweigh the grief and loss. If we can stop just one person from drink driving, it will be worthwhile, to prevent another family going through what we have endured over the past 20 months."

Brake's advice
Even very small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times and hazard perception, making them much more likely to crash, even if they don't feel drunk or even tipsy. The only way to ensure you're safe is to not drink any alcohol before driving, and never drive the morning after having more than one or two drinks. As a passenger, only accept a lift with a driver who's had no alcohol at all.

Planning ahead to get home safely will help avoid getting into an awkward or risky situation, such as having to refuse a lift from a driver who has had alcohol. If you're getting a lift back from a BBQ, party or night out with someone, make sure they are 100% on board with not having any alcohol at all. Always have a plan B just in case a designated driver lets you down, or arrange from the outset to get a taxi or public transport instead.

Calls for government action
Brake calls for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, to send a clear message that it should be none for the road. This allows for naturally occurring alcohol in the body, and is a limit set by numerous other countries including Sweden, Poland and Greece. The EU recommends a limit of no more than 50mg, and within the EU only Malta shares the UK's limit of 80mg. Governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have announced intentions to reduce their limits to 50mg, and in Northern Ireland, newly qualified drivers and commercial drivers will have a zero tolerance limit of 20mg.

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, a Fleet Safety Forum, practitioner services, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

End notes
[1] ACPO drink drive summer results, ACPO, 2013
[2] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2012, Department for Transport, 2013
[3] Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010
[4] ibid