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Preventing Drink Driving.

Drink driving is a persistant problem in the UK. It’s puts up the cost of car insurance and is the cause thousands of accidents. So what can be done about it? This article explores the problem.

Too many people are seriously injured or killed or on our roads each year in accidents involving drink-driving. It is currently estimate that around 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year on our roads in collisions where one or both of the drivers were over the drink drive limit. As you would expect, motorcyclists have the highest fatality rate of all road users – with current figures showing big increases in young riders killed whilst over the limit.

So drink driving is a huge problem, not only in the UK but all over the world resulting in many injuries and deaths. These drivers can’t argue that they don’t know the risks – so it’s down right irresponsibility. They’re not only putting themselves at risk but the lives of innocent motorists as well. The fact is that drink drivers have a lot to answer for and car insurance premiums generally have to be priced to cover the claims resulting from their actions.

But there might be a solution on the skyline. New technology is being tested in Europe and is already in service in the United States that could put an end to drink driving once and for all.

It’s called the “Alcolock”. It’s a revolutionary piece of equipment that prevents the car starting when it detects that the person sitting in the drivers seat is over the limit. It works by connecting a built breath analyser  to the ignition. When a driver enters their vehicle they have to give a breath sample via a tube connected to the device, this is analysed and if the level of alcohol is above the legal limit, the ignition of the car is imobilised.

These devices are already in use in parts of Canada and the USA where a driver has already been convicted drink driving. This has enabled the Canadian and American governments to reduce the number of known drink drivers reoffending. In America, to avoid any cheating of the system, some devices even require the driver to provide a breath sample before the journey and at random times during the journey.

These machines have been tested sucessfully in Europe and especially in Sweden but there are a few flaws that need to be resolved. For example, one tester in Sweden reported that he had to blow into the machine 76 times before the ignition would start – and he hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol! Clearly, the manufacturers must be absolutely sure that the equipment totally reliable before launching it onto the market.

Sweden, a leader in car safety, is now fitting the devices to all new cars in a voluntary code which involves all Sweedish car manufacturers. And by 2012 these devices will be compulsory for all the country’s new commercial vehicles.

We believe Sweeden’s lead will make all of Europe sit up and take notice extending to all new cars.

We know that this raises issues on people's rights as stressed by the Association for British Drivers. But surely, if preventative measures can be takenFind Article, they should. After all  the lives of fellow road users are at risk and they have rights too.

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