UK Drivers Won’t Report Friends And Family For Drink-Driving

Practically none of the nation’s motorists would report their friends and family for drink-driving. That’s according to a survey of nearly 30,000 drivers from across the country…

No Telling

Only 2% of the nation’s motorists would report their friends and family for drink-driving; that’s according to a survey from the AA. Over 30,000 drivers, all of whom were AA members, were questioned. But whilst 98% of us wouldn’t report those closest to us, 49% would happily report a complete stranger for the same offence. The respondents included in the survey stated that they’d rather hide car keys, offer the offender a lift or call a taxi than report friends and family members. The most vulnerable demographic when it comes to drink-driving are young men. Those aged between 17 – 24 are at the most risk of driving over the limit; and are least likely to see the phenomenon as socially unacceptable. In response, the government has launched a campaign to encourage younger drivers to stop their friends from driving over the limit.

Social Responsibility 

The former Road Safety Minister, Jesse Norman, has stressed the role drivers can play in combating drink-driving. He said, “friends, colleagues and family members can positively influence those around them. So we are calling on them to stop potential drink drivers from getting behind the wheel and risking tragedy this Christmas”.

Official advice is that you should use the police 101 number to report dangerous driving. But tackling the issue at the source is more effective, meaning preventing the offender can getting behind the wheel in the first place; assuming it’s safe to do so. Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, is all for a zero-tolerance approach regardless of the circumstances. He said, “if you spot dangerous driving, it’s important that you report it – even if you think it’s an act that you shouldn’t get involved in, such as your boss driving home drunk from your company Christmas party”. He added, “it’s a simple process and should only take a few minutes. Plus, you’ll be helping to keep the roads safe for everyone in the long-term”.

A Realistic Request?

The AA’s survey has uncovered a degree of hypocrisy amongst motorists. Whilst just shy of half of us would report a stranger for drink-driving, only 2% of us would report a friend or family member. Loyalty aside, drink-driving is a danger regardless of who is guilty of it. Allowing friends and family to do it unchallenged puts them and others at risk. That said, it’s hardly surprising that we’re reluctant to expose those dearest to use to potentially enormous legal implications. Far better, then, to have a frank conversation and to try to talk them out of it. Hiding keys, for instance, is hardly a practical or long-term solution! If drink-driving is an ongoing problem for a friend or family member, we have to grapple with the fact that a seemingly unpleasant act could well save their life and others.

Calls For Driving Test Changes To Counter Drink-Driving –

Morris Minor Drivers Are Among ‘Most Prolific’ For Drink Driving –

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