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Government should be ashamed of drink drive record

October 31, 2008 4:11 PM
Road Safety

Mark asked for a Commons debate on Road Safety

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter has today asked the Leader of the House of Commons Harriet Harman MP for a special debate on road safety.

The request came after the Transport Select Committee in the House of Commons published a report showing that drunk drivers killed as many people (460) on our roads this year as they did in 1998 . The report also stated that the Government was failing to attack the problem of uninsured drivers and young or novice drivers. The Times recently reported that uninsured drivers are killing four people a week, more than ever before, while the average fine for driving without insurance has dropped by 17 % since 1997, from £224 to £185 . While the report stated that 'young drivers especially those under 20 years of age, are nearly 12 times more likely than those aged 35-65 to have caused a fatal accident than to have been innocently involved in one' .

Mr Hunter called for a debate to investigate why the Government had not done more to tackle this problem and what action the Government was now going to take in the light of the Select Committee report.

Speaking after requesting the debate Mr Hunter said, "This report shows that the Government is still failing to improve the safety of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians on our roads.

"The Government should be ashamed that it has failed to make a dent in the problem of drink driving, which sadly still seems to be endemic in our community. That same numbers of people are being killed by drunk drivers today as they were a decade ago is shameful and Minsters need to admit their approach hasn't worked. We need real action on this issue now, which is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for a reduction in the drink drive limit to bring it into line with most of the rest of Europe, from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50 mg.

"We also believe the Government must do more to stop uninsured drivers who cause havoc on our roads. The high accident rates among young and novice drivers also cannot be ignored. The Government needs to work with insurance companies to encourage young drivers to get additional training, and should look again at the Transport Select Committee's proposals for a graduated license. Finally, we need more policemen and women out and about on our roads so they can flag down uninsured drivers, drink and drug drivers and others who are a threat to themselves and other road users."