PACTS COMMENTS ON NORTH REVIEW

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) today welcomed the review of drink and drug driving law written by Sir Peter North.

Commenting on the report, Robert Gifford, Executive Director of PACTS, said “Sir Peter is a well-respected legal figure with a track record of analysing road traffic law. As you would expect, his report is both thorough and comprehensive.

“His key recommendation to lower the current alcohol limit for driving is in line with the scientific evidence and will save lives on our roads. An earlier estimate by Professor Richard Allsop on behalf of PACTS concluded that a lower limit could save between 50 and 65 lives a year. It is interesting to note the evidence provided by NICE suggests even greater savings.

“Sir Peter is also right to propose that the current punishment regime should be kept in place at the new lower level. Success in combating drink-driving in Great Britain has been achieved through a combination of a known limit, effective enforcement, regular advertising and a clear level of sanction. Sir Peter’s report confirms the need to maintain this approach.

“Regular surveys of public opinion by organisations such as RAC and the AA show that public opinion supports a lower limit. I would urge the government to act quickly in response to this report and adopt its recommendations.

“On drug driving, Sir Peter is also right to argue that we need a sound evidence base for further action. Coroners should conduct regular tests for the presence of drugs in fatalities in road crashes. This would help us to understand the scale and nature of drug driving in this country.

“It is also right to call on the police service to ensure that there are sufficient police officers trained in field impairment testing and able to undertake this work. The police are an important resource in tackling both drink and drug driving.

“This report is a major step forward in policy terms. It clarifies the legal position for two key areas. Parliament now needs to back its conclusions so that we can continue our progress towards achieving the safest road users in the world.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact PACTS on 020 7222 7732

Note to editors: The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety is a registered charity and associate Parliamentary group. Its charitable objective is “To protect human life through the promotion of transport safety for the public benefit”.

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