Disproportionate reductions in the ranks of English and Welsh traffic police could lead to more drivers thinking they can flout drink-driving, driving while drugged and using mobile phone use laws, according to road safety charity Brake.

Highlighting an 11.6% cut in traffic police strength over the past five years, six times the overall fall in police numbers, Brake pointed out that in Wales the specialist traffic units’ strength is down 37% since 2007.

Brake claimed that the erosion of traffic patrol numbers was reflected by 8% fewer drivers being breath-tested last year, compared with 2010, while the organisation’s 2011 driver survey showed that 53% of motorists believed they had a less than 25% chance of being caught while drinking and driving.

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