Bulc: “We will and we must continue to take steps to tackle drink driving”

  • June 3, 2015

The European Commissioner for Transport Violetta Bulc has spoken in support of further steps to tackle drink driving in Europe.

Speaking in a pre-recorded video statement for an event in the European Parliament today she reiterated her earlier promise that road safety would be one of the ‘top priorities’ of her mandate. But while pointing out that across the EU drink driving “is responsible for a quarter of road deaths” she also admitted that Europe is “behind” on use of technology that can tackle the problem.

Several countries in the EU including Sweden, Finland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands have laws requiring drink driving offenders to install alcohol interlocks in their vehicles. The devices prevent the vehicle from being driven if the driver has been drinking.

Studies have already shown that alcohol interlocks are very effective in cutting repeat drink driving offences. A Finnish report published in 2013, and based on four years of data, showed a recidivism rate of 6% when interlocks were used compared to the usual 30% rate in Finland.

Two reports carried out for the EU last year were also supportive of further measures to boost the use of alcohol interlocks.

ETSC is calling for lorries and busses to be fitted as standard with alcohol interlocks and for a standard interface to enable easier fitting on cars used by drink driving offenders. The EU is currently reviewing which technologies should be included in new vehicles as part of its review of the General Safety Regulation.

Watch the video.