Christmas campaigns

by Mark Rowe

As police say, in the last 50 years, casualties on the road caused by drink driving have fallen dramatically. However, the temptation to drink and drive does increase over the festive period. Alcohol is not the only threat to road safety. The Department for Transport have found a six-fold increase in the number of people caught driving whilst under the influence of drugs.

Combining drink and drugs and then choosing to drive can have catastrophic consequences as drivers who have consumed both are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision, police say.

Chief Insp Vicky McParland of the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team said: “It is important to recognise that the risk does not end with your night out. Most drink drive offences are committed between 7pm and 7am. You need to be mindful that you may still be over the limit the morning after if you have drunk alcohol or for several days if you have taken drugs.”

That team’s officers will be breathalysing every driver they speak to in December. Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies have also secured funding from National Highways which will be used to purchase more drug wipes to be used in the campaign.

Lawrence Seager, Regional Safety Programme Manager from National Highways said: “Driving whilst under the influence of drugs is not only illegal, but extremely dangerous, affecting driving behaviour in numerous ways.

“This can include impairment of awareness, judgment, and reaction times, putting both the user and other road users in danger.


Joy Allen, Police and Crime Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington, deputy Roads Policing and Transport Lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), said: “Drink or drug driving is a despicable and incredibly dangerous act which can have serious or fatal consequences for offenders as well as victims and their families.

“At this time of year, we frequently see people caught out who we would not normally expect – people who have never been in trouble with the police before. They might attend a Christmas party and travel to work the following morning in the belief they are fit to drive or change their mind about drinking on arrival and make an impulsive decision to drive home to avoid transport issues. Ultimately, both mistakes could cost a life or, at the very least, land them with a criminal record, a driving ban and hefty fine.

Devon & Cornwall Police meanwhile has launched its seasonal campaign, called ‘Safer Christmas’. The force wants to remind people of safety measures they can take against becoming a victim of crime.

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