Friday 20 April 2018

Revealed: Almost one in 12 motorists have been involved in collision or near-miss caused by drink-driving - survey

A survey of more than 6,000 motorists

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Kathy Armstrong

Nearly one in 12 motorists have been involved in a collision or a near-miss caused by drink-drivers, a new survey has revealed.

Just less than 2pc of those quizzed said they had been involved in such an incident over the last year and more than 4pc of people said they had experienced something like this more than a year ago.

The results of a recent AA Car Insurance survey of more than 6,000 motorists were released today.

This comes just a year after AA Research found that 70pc of motorists are in favour of introducing automatic driving bans for anyone driving over the legal limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, said that drink-drivers are putting people's lives at risk.

“As a country our attitude towards drink driving has come a long way, but there is still a great deal of work to be done in order to truly stamp out this behaviour," he said.

Photo: Garry O'Neill
Photo: Garry O'Neill

“Some of the worst accidents we see on our roads every year happen as a result of someone taking the immoral decision to drive while over the legal blood alcohol limit.

“While it is a positive development that so few of those surveyed reported experiencing a near miss or collision caused by drink-driving within the last year, this behaviour puts all road users at risk and frankly needs to be relegated to a part of Ireland’s past,” Mr Faughnan said.

The report found that more than a quarter of near-misses and collisions involving drink-drivers happened on secondary roads, 17.41pc took place on primary or main roads and 16.99pc occurred on minor roads.

Almost 14pc of these incidents occurred in city or town centres, 9.13pc happened on motorways, 7.22pc were on suburban roads, over 4pc took place in residential or housing estate roads and also on normal dual carriageways, while 1.27pc were reported on high grade dual carriageways.

Mr Faughnan said that gardaí need more resources to effectively crack down on drink-driving.

He said: “It would be factually inaccurate to claim that drink-driving only happens in rural areas and on secondary or minor roads, but what we do know is that these areas are not effectively policed on a regular basis in terms of identifying drink-drivers.

“Due to a lack of resources gardaí have to prioritise the policing of major routes, but in order to stamp out drink-driving we need to see gardaí outside pubs across the country at closing time and along minor roads.

“While we're delighted with that recent legislation to tackle drink-driving introduced by Minister Shane Ross was successfully passed, we now need to look at providing gardaí with the resources they need to enforce these laws.”

He continued to say: “Unfortunately, if people have not seen a garda on their journey home in months or years they may be tempted to take the chance of drink-driving.

“While it’s ultimately the motorist’s own responsibility to obey the rules of the road, a more visible garda force on minor roads would certainly help stamp out this behaviour.”

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