21 March, 2011

Drink Driving

Five out of ten for Philip Hammond, UK Secretary of State for Transport, who has today decided not to reduce the legal driving limit of alcohol /blood from 80 mg per 100ml blood to 50mg, and will introduce new tests for drugs. So far so good, but he loses the five points for cancelling the right to a blood test and promising to increase the detection rates.

Here in Italy it is almost the reverse case. The limit is 50mg, only the best would do, but there is an unspoken social contract between the police and the public that the police will not be offesnsively intrusive or overly zealous. It works well: if you are in an accident or have offended the police in some other way you are treated to the full majesty of the law, but the ordinary law abiding citizen tends to be left alone.

I appreciate this would not be possible with the puritanical trait of the British character, but it really is time the Government put a stop to the reign of terror by what, after all, are public servants. At Christmas, with a month of offensive adverts on the TV, the police tested an incredible 169,838 people (the number was less than the previous year due to bad weather) to find that les than 4% tested positive. They had interfered with the innocent private travel of over 163,000 citizens, in one month.

This is madness, and if Hammond had any balls he'd put a stop to it.

The biggerst danger on the roads are old people who have bad eyesight and slow reactions and get confused by the heavy traffic. Let's develop some method of testing reactions, whether they are impaired by drink, drugs or age.

No comments: