Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl is urging licensees and bar staff to help keep Gloucestershire’s road users safe this winter.
It is part of a two pronged attack aimed at persuading motorists not to drink or take drugs before getting behind the wheel.
Part one is a direct appeal to pubs and social clubs around the county. Part two is a warning to motorists that police patrols will be out in urban and rural areas from 3 December.
Safe and Social Driving is the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan priority aimed at getting all road users to behave responsibly towards each other.
In a personal letter to licensees, the PCC writes:
“The primary aim of this year’s pre-Christmas campaign is to educate drivers to make an informed decision not to drive under the influence of drink or drugs and I hope you can assist me in this by:
- Reminding your customers that the drink drive campaign is about to launch
- Encourage them to make sensible plans to enjoy their celebrations and help them get home safe afterwards
- As a responsible host, please promote taxis and alternative transport options home in the lead up and during the campaign.
- Perhaps you could offer free soft drinks for drivers or some non-alcoholic drinks options, which could be published and promoted.
- We want to help your customers. We would rather drink drivers did not get on the roads in the first place rather than get stopped from drink driving however if they do then the police will come down hard on those offenders.
Mr. Surl said, “Last year in Gloucestershire, the police recorded 39 drink or drug drive collisions. Whilst this figure reflects a downward trend there is growing anecdotal evidence that, in some parts of the county, people have become complacent because they think they can get away with it. This constitutes not only a danger to themselves but also to other more responsible road users”.
Chief Inspector Alistair Barby said, “We will be out in force over the Christmas period and would ask that people consider their actions before getting behind the wheel.
“We all know of the profound impact that driving after having been drinking or taking drugs can have on people, and so we will be ensuring that those who ignore this advice will be targeted.
“It is important that those people understand the consequences of their actions”.
In the last 50 years road casualties caused by drink driving have fallen dramatically. Yet on average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in the UK in a drink drive related collision.
Combining illegal drugs with alcohol is especially deadly since it has been found that drivers who have consumed both are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than sober drivers.