Did you know August is National Road Victim Month?

Did you know August is National Road Victim Month?

Published: 01/08/2023

Today, 1st August 2023 marks the start of National Road Victim Month. August was designated National Road Victim Month, following the death of Princess Diana in August 1997. Over the last decade, the number of individuals killed on UK roads has remained roughly the same, with five people killed every single day and over 60 individuals left seriously injured.  

The most distressing part about this is that the majority of the incidents resulting in tragic deaths or serious injuries, could have been prevented. National statistics published in July 2023, estimated that 6,740 individuals were killed or injured in 2021, when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit. The report sadly doesn’t include the vital statistics on drug driving, however, Crimestoppers Charity recently recorded that one in twenty fatalities on our roads nationally is caused by drug drivers.

However, this is not new information to those of us concerned with road safety. Drink and drug driving has been the cause of many avoidable fatalities over the years, including several high-profile cases. Allegedly, according to a French investigation in 1999, intoxication through alcohol and prescription drugs was the cause of the crash that killed Princess Diana. Unfortunately, the statistics in recent years seem to show drug driving offences to be increasing in prevalence, which suggests that we still have a long way to go to prevent fatal and serious incidents such as these from reoccurring.

 

Remembering loved ones:

National Road Victim Month is a time for remembering loved ones who tragically lost their lives on UK roads.

Mia Wort

Craig Procter was under the influence of both alcohol and Cocaine when he hit an innocent driver head on, leaving passenger, Mia Wort, with non-survivable injuries. It was later discovered that Procter had already been disqualified from driving because of previous drink and drug-driving convictions, earlier in 2021.

Olivia Riley

Olivia Riley was out innocently walking her two labradors and a golden retriever puppy when she was hit by a car in May 2022. Laszlo Dancs, was found to be almost two-and-a-half times the legal limit for alcohol and drugs with two bottles of vodka and a small bag of cocaine in his vehicle. Devastatingly, Olivia and her three dogs were found dead at the scene.   

Elliot Lemm

Chelsea Standage was travelling at speed with impaired judgement from drinking alcohol, when she crashed killing Elliot Lemm and seriously injuring two others. She is estimated to have been travelling at over 70mph when she lost control of her vehicle, colliding with a wall and a parked vehicle.

These heart-breaking incidents, like many others, could have been prevented if individuals understood and took responsibility for the devastating consequences that driving whilst under the influence of drink and drugs has.

 

What can you do as an organisation?

Are you aware that today also marks the start of the Summer NPCC Drink & Drug Drive Campaign. Throughout the month of August Police Forces across the UK will be increasing their focus on those driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

As an industry we invest a lot of time and expense ensuring our vehicles and their loads are roadworthy. However, how many of us have robust policies and procedures in place to make sure our drivers are also fit to get behind the wheel? The answer is unfortunately very few.

The statistics tell us that we should absolutely be doing more. 74% of substance abusers across the UK are in full-time employment and in some areas of the UK over 50% of those caught drug driving are either driving to or for work. In addition, statistics from 2022 show us for the first time that drug driving is more prevalent across the UK than drink driving.

With these figures in mind, together with the added Police focus on anti-drink and drug driving, August has never been a better time to consider the procedures your organisation can implement to deter from workplace drug and alcohol misuse.

Protection for both your business and your employees starts with implementing a robust and active drug and alcohol policy. A drug and alcohol policy can be short or long, detailed, or brief but it shouldn’t be open to interpretation. It must recognise that drug and alcohol abuse is an area of health and social concern and offer support to employees, whilst recognising that the company has a responsibility to both its employees and customers to ensure that all risk is minimised.

 

To help you get started on your drug and alcohol screening journey, we at D.tec International are happy to offer free policy construction and/or guidance on any existing policies. Get in touch with us today to see how we can support you.  

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