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Driving safely

Drink driving: The facts

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The consequences of drink driving could be worse than you think:

  • 12 month driving ban

  • Your job

  • £5000 fine

  • Criminal record

  • Imprisonment.

A drink drive conviction will also mean:

  • a significant increase in the cost of your car insurance

  • if you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction when you have to produce your licence

  • you may have trouble getting permission to travel into countries like the USA.

Speeding: The facts

  • Speed is one of the main factors in fatal road accidents

  • In 2013, 3,064 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes where speed was a factor

  • The risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph

  • Fatal accidents are four times as likely on rural 'A' roads as urban 'A'roads

The costs of speeding

  • A fine (minimum of £100)

  • Penalty points on your licence (minimum of 3)

  • Loss of your licence

  • Increased insurance costs

  • A criminal record

  • A prison sentence

  • Injury to yourself, your passenger or other road users

Speeding can also have grave consequences, killing yourself, a friend or a loved one – please slow down on Nottinghamshire's roads. 

Other road safety facts:

  • 13 percent of road fatalities in 2012 were due to drink driving

  • In Nottinghamshire between 2008-12, 3468 accidents involved Driver/Riders who failed to look properly

  • Almost 20 per cent of accidents on major roads are sleep-related.


Between 2006 and 2010 there were 2,021 casualties on Nottinghamshire’s roads involved in collisions where the vehicle they were in was travelling too fast for the road conditions or speeding. 51 percent were aged 16-29 years old, including 25 fatalities.

The difference of a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death. The faster you are driving, the less time you have to stop if something unexpected happens.

Speed limits are there for a reason and are the absolute maximum you should be driving. It does not mean it’s safe to drive at that speed regardless of the conditions. Driving too fast for the road conditions can be dangerous.

The Directgov Think! website contains facts and information about speeding and the consequences: http://think.direct.gov.uk/speed.html

Mobile phones

It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving. If you use a mobile phone while driving your attention will be distracted from the road. Reaction times for drivers using a phone are around 50 percent slower than in normal driving.

The Directgov Think! website contains facts and information about using a mobile phone while driving, including the penalties if you are caught: http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html 

Seatbelts save lives

Always wear a seatbelt. In a crash you are twice as likely to die if you don't.

The law states that you must wear a seatbelt if one is available, unless you are exempt.

From the age of 14 years it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure you are wearing a seatbelt. Failure to wear a seatbelt may result in a fine of up to £500.

The Directgov Think! website contains facts, a crash simulator and the law on who should wear a seatbelt and when you may be exempt: http://think.direct.gov.uk/seat-belts.html 

Young drivers

Young drivers aged 17-24 account for over 27 percent of all killed or seriously injured car drivers in Nottinghamshire.

Virtual driving experience

1 in 5 drivers crash within the first 12 months of passing their test. Prepare for in-car lessons by using Drive IQ - free state of the art online software providing a virtual driving experience which helps with:

  • Driving awareness
  • Coping with distraction
  • Improving observations
  • Avoiding crashes.

Pre-driver training

We run pre-driver training courses for 15-17 year olds, which give trainees their first experience behind the wheel of a car in a safe, controlled environment with fully qualified driving instructors.

Visit our pre-driver course page for further information.


Studies have shown that drivers don’t fall asleep without warning. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel have often tried to fight off drowsiness by opening a window, or by turning up the radio. This doesn’t work for long.

The Directgov Think! website contains advice on what you can do if you’re feeling tired while driving: http://think.direct.gov.uk/fatigue.html 


Did you know?

  • Your body works off alcohol at a rate of roughly one unit per hour regardless of what you've eaten, whether you exercise, drink black coffee, sleep or have a cold shower
  • Time is the only way to get alcohol out of your system so if you've had a heavy night or a few drinks at lunchtime, consider whether you should be driving
  • During December 2011, 152 people were arrested under suspicion of drink driving and 45 were involved in collisions.

If you're driving, the only safe level is zero. 

Mix up a mocktail

Make the perfect non-alcoholic cocktail - or mocktail - this summer season using our mocktail recipes [PDF] 

Effects of alcohol

If you're going to drink, arrange another means of transport so that you don't have to drive. Your driving is seriously affected when you've been drinking alcohol. This is because alcohol:

  • gives you a false sense of confidence

  • reduces co-ordination

  • slows down reactions

  • affects judgement of speed, distance and risk.

Don't risk drinking and driving or riding.

Consequences of drink driving

The consequences of drink driving could be worse than you think. See the panel to the left to find out how it could affect your life and download our drink driving leaflet [PDF] The Directgov Think! website contains facts and information about drinking and driving and what the limits and penalties are. See: http://think.direct.gov.uk/drink-driving.html


On 02nd March 2015 the drug driving law changed. It is now an offence to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in your blood. This includes illegal drugs such as:

  • cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and cannabis
as well as some drugs available on prescription such as:

  • morphine or opiate based drugs e.g. codeine, Diazepam, Temazepam

It is important that you let your doctor or pharmacist know you are a driver. You can take these drugs and still drive if:

  • you have been prescribed them by a healthcare professional
  • only take the prescribed levels
  • they are not causing you to be unfit to drive.

The penalties for drug driving are the same as drink driving.

The Directgov Think! website contains information on how drugs affect your driving ability: http://think.direct.gov.uk/drug-driving.html


Car drivers and horse riders both have a right to use the road. By considering each others' needs and following some basic advice, drivers and riders can help avoid accidents involving horses on the road.

The Directgov Think! website contains facts and advice for both drivers and horse riders when sharing the road: http://think.direct.gov.uk/horses.html

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