Written Answers : September 11th – September 15th 2010
Driving under Influence: Accidents
Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the number of people in each age group who died in road traffic accident deaths where alcohol was a causal factor in each year since 1999; and if he will make a statement. 
A reported drink drive accident is defined as being a collision on a public road reported to police in which someone is killed or injured and where one or more of the motor vehicle drivers or riders involved either refused to give a breath test specimen when requested to do so by the police (other than when incapable of doing so for medical reasons), or one of the following:
(i) failed a roadside breath test by registering over 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 ml of breath
(ii) died and was subsequently found to have more than 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.
Alcohol was not necessarily a causal factor in all of these accidents and there may have been fatalities in other accidents in which alcohol was a causal factor but no drivers/riders involved exceeded the legal drink drive limit. Estimates for drink drive casualties by age group in 2009 will be available in summer 2011.
The previous Government commissioned Sir Peter North to head an independent review of measures available to combat drink and drug driving. Sir Peter’s report covers a wide range of issues and makes 51 detailed recommendations, which we are considering carefully with other Government Departments. We hope to publish a response to the report at the end of the year.
Mike Penning: In the last 12 months (August 2009 to August 2010) the Highways Agency has spent £211,358.91 on the development of driver information programmes for road safety educational purposes, including support to various partnership initiatives.
The driver information programmes are developed and created with advice and support from experts in the industry (Police, Fire and Rescue, Department for Transport, Road Safety Great Britain). The cost quoted is for the development of the master copies. The costs of reproduction (mass copying the resources) is included in the Highways Agency’s road safety initiative budget, which covers a wide range of safety interventions. Much road safety educational work has been developed in-house and with key partners at no cost.
Motor Vehicles: Safety
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with (a) the European Commission and (b) his EU counterparts on harmonising EU requirements on road safety standards for child passengers in motor vehicles. 
Mike Penning: I have had no such recent discussions. There are European Commission Directives aimed at establishing minimum common practice throughout the EU on the use of seat belts and child seats, which the UK implemented in 2006. These do not prevent other member states introducing further rules in their territory on top of those prescribed in the Directives, should it so wish. That is a matter for the country concerned and is not something that the Government could or would seek to influence.
Mike Penning: The larger resource element of the specific road safety grant was absorbed into the general area based grant from April 2008 allowing local authorities to set their own priorities. The future of this funding after 2010-11 is being considered in the comprehensive spending review.
Mike Penning: Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world. The Secretary of State for Transport is considering what further action should be taken to make them safer still and expects to decide whether there is a role for a further national road safety strategy, before the current one expires at the end of this year.
Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many driving tests have been conducted by each driving test centre in (a) Wiltshire, (b) Somerset and (c) Avon in each of the last three years. 
Mike Penning: The numbers of driving tests by category of vehicles conducted at each driving test centre in (a) Wiltshire, (b) Somerset and (c) Avon in each of the last three years are shown in the following tables.
Driving: Sleep Apnoea
Mike Penning: The Department for Transport is committed to identifying opportunities to raise awareness of obstructive sleep apnoea. A number of initiatives are ongoing with commercial drivers including questioning them directly about it as part of their compulsory medicals and sending our “Tiredness Can Kill” leaflet to them and their employers.