Rescue statistics: drugs and alcohol cause 4,600 road accidents in Italy every year
There have been 4600 road accidents caused by drug or alcohol abuse in the last period, with 1331 people injured and 26 road victims. A figure that is on the rise, according to police surveys.
The fight to prevent road accidents and, above all, the victims that can result from them, also involves combating the use of drugs, which in Italy have an estimated market value of around 16 billion euros, equivalent to one point of GDP.
Giuseppa Cassaniti, President of the Associazione italiana familiari delle vittime della strada Onlus (Aifvs), provides a precise summary of the situation in Italy since the crime of road homicide and the support fund for those who suffer the loss of a loved one due to accidents or vandalism existed: “The Guarantee Fund for Road Victims is a public fund and is aimed at supporting those situations resulting from road accidents caused by uninsured cars, hit-and-run drivers who run away without rescuing any victims, even if, to date, other similar situations remain uncovered, such as the consequences of throwing stones from overpasses, or the accident resulting from an animal crossing the roadway.
The offence of road homicide,” continues President Cassaniti, “has focused above all on a change in mentality and culture: before, the seriousness of the act was underestimated, but now we have begun to give due weight to a desire to cause maximum damage to another human being.
We need to increase the sense of responsibility by strengthening compliance with the law.
The Association emphasises that the true meaning of the Day for Road Traffic Accident Victims is not simply to remember those who are no longer with us, but to change the attitude of every citizen who can manage and solve problems through their own behaviour.
In the fight to make everyone take responsibility, there is the Association’s great commitment in the battle for road safety, with the use of devices such as helmets and seatbelts, alongside elements introduced into the Highway Code such as the deduction of driving licence points.
“The European Union has set itself the goal of achieving zero fatalities by 2050, through intermediate stages of ten years in which to identify and implement the most correct prevention strategies.
In Italy, however, we have not reached the target of halving the number of deaths, as required.
Our country still needs to make an effort, working carefully and without wasting time. The penalties for abusing alcohol or drugs are severe, but there is still a lack of proper determination of the real psychophysical state, of the degree of activation of such substances at the time of the accident.
“The blame, however, does not lie solely with citizens who do not comply with the rules, but also with institutions that are not yet sufficiently attentive to the problem in terms of coordinating preventive action: the change in mentality must be a systemic one, and this can only take place if rules and indications of precise practices are drawn up at a central level, also with regard to the culture of proper road education in schools”.