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5 Jan 2004 : Column 46W—continued

Drink Driving

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Department spent on advertising the Drink Drive Campaign in each year since 1997. [144830]

Mr. Darling: Campaign advertising costs for drink drive since 1997 are as follows:


(13) estimated outurn

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Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he (a) has commissioned and (b) plans to commission on the reasons for the number of drink drive fatalities. [144553]

Mr. Jamieson: Estimates of drink drive deaths and injuries are produced annually and routine information is obtained from Coroners on the level of alcohol in road accident fatalities. These enable monitoring of trends.

For the purpose of developing road safety publicity we continue to gauge attitudes and behaviour in omnibus research carried out throughout the year and also in qualitative research with targeted groups on both the effectiveness of various creative strategies and on attitudes and behaviour towards drink driving.

Our road safety research programme has included many projects on alcohol related accidents. Most recent

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projects have examined the behaviour of High Risk Offenders and the effectiveness of Drink Drive Rehabilitation Courses. We are about to place a contract to investigate the usefulness, acceptability and impact on lifestyle of Alcohol Ignition Interlocks for drink driving offenders. We are also the main sponsor of the worlds largest conference on this subject—the 17th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety which meets in Glasgow in August 2004.

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the issues on which views were invited in Combating Drink Driving: Next Steps, published in February 1998; and what action has been taken with regard to each of them. [144555]

Mr. Jamieson: Each of the issues and the action taken are listed in the following table below.

ProposalAction taken
1. Introducing powers to authorise breath testing without prior suspicion.Not proceeded with. A proposal to give the police powers to carry out targeted breathtesting was included in the Road Safety Strategy. In the event, this was deemed unnecessary as the police already undertake intelligence-led enforcement against drink-driving.
2. Where Bail Act powers are used to prevent driving between an offence and a court appearance, reducing the final period of any disqualification by any period by the amount of time that the driver was banned as part of his or her bail.Not proceeded with. This was not an issue which attracted significant comment in the public response.
3. Streamlining prosecution proceedings by conditional fixed penalty offers to drivers not to take court proceedings and by evidential roadside breath testing.Conditional fixed penalty offers were not proceeded with. This proposal received little support in the public response. The Government agree with those who consider that the seriousness of drink-driving offences should require a court appearance.The Government are planning to introduce legislation giving the police powers to carry out evidential roadside breathtesting as soon as parliamentary time permits.
4. Reducing the drink-drive limit to 50mg/100mlThe Government have decided not to lower the legal limit.
5. In the event of a 50mg limit, whether the current 12 months' period of disqualification should be retained or lesser penalties applied to offences in the 50–80mg range.No action taken in view of decision on 4.
6. Introducing a specially low drink-drive limit for novice drivers.Not proceeded with. The Government consider that allowing drivers to drink more once they cease to be novices might convey the wrong message.
7. The effectiveness of drink-drive rehabilitation courses and ideas for extending or modifying the scheme or the range of offenders to be sent on courses.A permanent drink-drive rehabilitation scheme was introduced throughout Great Britain from 1 January 2000. The Government are planning to introduce legislation enabling courts to refer offenders to driver retraining and improvement courses as soon as parliamentary time permits.
8. Promoting self-test breathalysers.The Government expressed doubts about the value of such devices in the consultation document and, in the light of the response, sees no reason actively to promote them.

Fuel Efficiency (Road Transport)

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department will be taking to implement the EU voluntary agreement for improving average fuel efficiency for new cars. [145733]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government strongly supports the Voluntary Agreements on new car fuel efficiency between the European Commission and the automotive industry, and has put in place a number of policies to incentivise the uptake of fuel-efficient vehicles in the UK. These are set out in detail in the Powering Future Vehicles strategy, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House and via the Department's website.

The main measures include a number of fiscal incentives to encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles, such as the graduated Vehicle Excise Duty and company car tax regimes. We also provide Government grants to support the purchase of certain types of fuel-efficient vehicle, including petrol-electric 'hybrid' vehicles. In recent months, we have been piloting colour-coded energy efficiency labels for new cars in some showrooms, as a way of getting clearer information on fuel efficiency to consumers, and we will be supporting the European Commission as it seeks to develop an EU-wide car energy efficiency labelling scheme. As a result of these and other measures, average new car fuel efficiency in the UK has improved by almost 10 per cent. since 1995.

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The Government's Energy White Paper, published in February 2003, confirmed the Government's strong support for the Voluntary Agreements, and committed us to working with the European Commission in developing further Voluntary Agreements to continue the improvement in average new car fuel-efficiency. We have written to the European Commission setting out our view that new Agreements should be reached at an early date, establishing a new time horizon such as 2015. We have suggested that new targets should be based on authoritative evidence on available technology improvements, having regard to the full range of environmental, social and economic factors.

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what incentives his Department is giving to the use of road transport fuels which produce the least greenhouse gas emissions. [145745]

Mr. Jamieson: "Powering Future Vehicles—The Government Strategy", published in July 2002, describes the action which the Government are taking to promote the shift to clean, low carbon fuels and vehicles, including low duty rates for liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas, hydrogen and biofuels, the introduction of CO2 -based graduated VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) and company car tax, and grants towards the purchase or conversion of cleaner fuelled vehicles, including electric and hybrid vehicles. Details of these purchase grants can be found at: The First Annual Report on implementation of the Strategy was published in October. Copies of both documents are available in the Libraries of the House.


Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation sponsored by his Department in 2002–03 was introduced to implement EU requirements. [141129]

Dr. Howells: No primary legislation sponsored by the Department for Transport in the 2002–03 Parliamentary session was introduced to implement EU requirements. The secondary legislation sponsored by the Department comprised both general and local instruments. The proportion of all these instruments which were introduced to implement EU requirements was approximately 1 per cent. In the case of general instruments alone the proportion was approximately 13 per cent.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many prosecutions have been brought by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in each of the last 10 years; and how many of them have resulted in convictions. [145242]

Mr. Jamieson: Prior to 1995, prosecutions by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency were conducted by local offices. In 1995 the process was started to centralise these prosecutions, and by 1998 the central unit had became fully functional. Data prior to 1995 is not available.

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YearNumber of prosecutionsNumber of convictions

(14) In both 2001 and 2002 the Maritime and Coastguard Agency did joint investigations with the police. The Crown Prosecution Service and not the Maritime and Coastguard Agency undertook the prosecutions which did not result in a conviction.

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