Sunday 18 February 2018

Irish alone in Europe in seeing drink driving as a minor threat

IRISH people stand alone in Europe in saying that boozed-up drivers pose only a limited threat on the roads, writes Sarah Collins.

According to an EU poll, one-third of our population thinks drink-driving is only a minor risk for road safety, while one in 20 say that drunken revellers who get into their cars are no danger at all.

Only 62pc of the 1,000 Irish polled said drink-driving posed a major threat to road safety.

The results showed Ireland as a "clear outlier" on the drink-driving front, the study said, with an average of 94pc across the 27-member EU judging booze to be a major problem.

Drunks on the roads topped the list of concerns in Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Greece, with 99pc of people in each country saying they were a major menace.

The survey, conducted in June by Gallup UK on behalf of the European Commission, found the introduction of harsher drink-driving laws by the Government four years ago could have lulled Irish people into a sense of security on the nation's roads.

The 2006 overhaul of the Road Traffic Act introduced random breath testing, and the number of drink-driving cases in Ireland has diminished by a quarter since the rule change.

The biggest fear for Irish people is speeding, according to the poll, with 78pc saying it poses a huge safety threat.

Irish Independent

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