HC Deb 12 January 1987 vol 108 c11
9. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what further action after the Christmas drink drive campaign he proposes on road safety publicity.

Mr. John Moore

Our clear-cut "Don't Drink and Drive" campaign won strong public support. I shall follow it up in the spring and autumn. This will reinforce the message that drinking and driving is a year-round problem and must be tackled as seriously as we can.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Further to my right hon. Friend's reply, is he aware that in Scotland a campaign group is being formed of some of the relatives of bereaved families whose relatives have been killed through reckless driving? Is he further aware that a point which they make is that if the periods of disqualification for driving were much longer that would constitute an effective deterrent?

Mr. Moore

I was not aware of the particular Scottish illustration to which my hon. Friend has drawn my attention, and I shall certainly draw it to the attention of my colleagues in the Home Office.

The Government will do all in their power to ensure effectively that we control the appalling problem in this country of drinking and driving. I shall certainly consider the point which my hon. Friend has made.

Mr. Boyes

Does the Minister recognise the strength of the powerful campaign that was run over Christmas time? Many hon. Members welcome the Secretary of State's undertaking to carry the campaign on throughout the year. Will the Secretary of State give three further undertakings? First, will he make the message even stronger? Secondly, will he consider stronger sentences for people convicted of drink driving offences? Thirdly, as an indication of his good will, will he reduce further the acceptable blood alcohol limit of people caught drinking and driving?

Mr. Moore

In relation to the particular points that have been raised, I have listened very carefully to the public reaction. I was especially delighted with the media reaction to the message and I hear what the hon. Gentleman says about making it even stronger and clearer. I shall certainly consider that sympathetically. I am not sure that sentencing policy—although that is not my departmental job—is the key in this area, as opposed to trying to change attitudes, which is what we are seeking to do through our campaigns, which are supported by the private and the public sectors. I shall consider anything that will help in this area.