UK public challenged to take action against drink driving

Secret filming study shows complacency of UK public in taking action to prevent drink driving on the country’s roads.

The campaign to prevent drink driving in the UK over the Christmas and New Year period was undertaken by insurance experts at confused.com after the company had organised secret filming of an actor pretending to be drunk and asking passers-by for help in getting into his car. (The video can be viewed below this story)

The actor was doused in alcohol to create the right smell and then staggered near his car, fumbling with his keys and asking people to help him get into his car so he could drive to his nearby home. Of those asked for help, most gave their assistance, eight of the fifty people refused to provide assistance and one passer-by took the keys off the actor and called the police.

Confused.com has produced a video of the experiment which shows the degree of complacency shown by most of the people. More than 50 people were observed with more than two-thirds providing help and some others ignoring him completely, preferring to walk on, neither helping him nor preventing him from driving.

Confused.com commenced the campaign against the backdrop of continued high levels of drink driving in the country particularly over the festive period. Last year, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) reported over 7000 arrests in the country for drink driving during the 2011 enforcement campaign last December. Additionally, more than 11000 breath tests were performed for police after collisions of which nearly 9% were positive for alcohol. In 2010, driver’s over the legal limit were involved in collisions in which 250 lives were lost.

Sharon Flaherty of Confused.com commented that the video shows that people are willing to turn a blind eye to drink driving but it also demonstrates that it is something that could be stopped and that by preventing people from drinking and driving, lives could be saved.

The UK’s road safety charity Brake also commented on the video with the organisation’s Julie Townsend saying that everyone can play their part in preventing pointless deaths over the Christmas period by stopping friends and relatives from getting into the car when they’ve been drinking. Her advice is to stay completely sober if planning to drive or plan ahead so that there is a means of getting home after drinking without getting behind the wheel.

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