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Vera Baird QC urges the Government to deliver on anti-drink drive priority

4th August 2016

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC,  has said more still needs to be done to tackle needless, alcohol-related deaths, following statistics released today, which show drink drive fatalities are not reducing significantly year-on-year.

A report by the Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed 240 of all road fatalities in 2014 were drink drive related – a figure which hasn’t changed significantly since 2010.

Commissioner Baird is backing motoring organisation, the RAC which is calling for the government to consider adopting the new reduced Scottish legal alcohol limit for driving in the rest of the UK.

She is also in full support of the AA which wishes to see a year-round campaign to help reduce road casualties. Figures have shown that several months outside December, when the main drink-drive campaign takes place, casualty figures have worsened.

Vera Baird said: “I have worked closely with my North East PCC colleagues to urge the government to reduce the alcohol limit.  I am determined, as ever, that we do all that we can to make our roads safer.  The government must now show that reducing alcohol-related road deaths is a priority, they continue to say it is but they now need to deliver on this priority.

“Lowering the limit would also save an estimated £300 million nationally, by reducing the cost to the police and ambulance services and cutting hospital admissions.  By reducing the limit we will also be helping prevent families losing a loved one in such tragic circumstances”.

Vera Baird will lobby the new Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, urging him to ensure the government tackles alcohol related road deaths as a priority by reducing the alcohol limit and requesting the government to re-launch a high profile anti-drink drive public awareness campaign to help encourage change to those who think driving after drinking is acceptable.