Don Foster MP*

Less Gassing, Safer Driving

Bath's MP, Don Foster who is Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary, commenting on the news that driving while using a hand-held mobile phone will be a specific offence from 1 December 2003, said:

Main Image"After sustained pressure from Liberal Democrat and Conservatives peers in the House of Lords, the Government have at long last been forced to take action.

"Drivers have a responsibility to drive safely. This sensible measure will force drivers to switch off their mobiles and switch onto their driving.

"Since Labour came to power in 1997, there have been a staggering 17,000 deaths on our roads. Far more needs to be done to reduce the number of wasted lives.

"Tackling the menace of mobile phone use while driving is a start.

"But this law could be much more effective in conjunction with other road safety measures, such as lowering the drink drive limit."

With a little more daring we could make a real difference to improving safety on our roads."


Notes to editors to follow

Notes to Editors

1. The Liberal Democrats would change the drink drive limit from 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood to 50mg.

2. The Department for Transport's own consultation paper, published more than 5 years ago, says:

"For drivers in the 50-80mg range, the risk of a non-fatal accident is around 2 to 2.5 times as high as for a sober driver: for a fatal accident the risk is about 6 times as high."

"From this data, an estimate has been made of the number of fatalities in accidents where the most inebriated driver had a BAC between 50 and 80mg. The figure fluctuates from year to year, but averages at around 100 per year. Given a risk factor as 5 times that of a sober driver (i.e. slightly more conservative than stated above), one would expect 80 of these fatalities to be attributable to alcohol."

[Annex 2, 'The estimated effect on casualties of lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to 50mg', Combating Drink Driving: the Next Steps, DfT, February 1998]

This article published: 25/06/2023

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank


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