“Don’t shatter lives’ is the message from the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership this December.
The empty chair at the table, the unopened gift under the tree, and the memories of Christmas past are all poignant reminders when you have lost a loved one. Although those who have lost a loved one feel their loss all year round, Christmas can heighten these feelings.
For those who have lost loved ones to drink or drug driving it can be especially hard, whether they were the innocent victim in a collision or the person who chose to drive whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, their death was avoidable.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a choice, and one we do not want you to consider.
The life of the person who chose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their family, their friends, the family of the loved one they killed in a collision, and the children who will grow up without a parent, one bad choice can have a lasting impact on so many lives.
Even if you manage to avoid a collision, likely, you will likely still be caught by officers, and this will still have a profound impact on your life. From travel restrictions, reduced job opportunities, a driving ban, a fine, and a prison sentence, is it worth it?
Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing posts on our social media channels based on real-life events. The purpose is to make people stop and think, not only of themselves but of those around them, their parents, their siblings, their children, and their friends, will all these people still be in their lives if they choose to drink and drive? Or how would each of their lives be affected if the worst was to happen?
Officers from the partnership will be educating road users about the consequences of drink and drug driving. This will be done at events, in colleges and other education establishments.
North Yorkshire Police will be conducting proactive ‘drink and drug driving’ patrols will be carried out across the county alongside static road checks to catch those who continue to decide to drive under the influence.
The force hopes to intervene and bring drink and drug drivers to justice before they have a chance to shatter lives, other than their own.
Remember it isn’t just about having an alcoholic drink or taking drugs and getting straight into the car – you can also be over the limit or under the influence the morning after.
Throughout the campaign, North Yorkshire Police will publish regular updates on the number of arrests made and any prosecutions on their social media channels and website.
If you suspect someone driving a vehicle of drink or drug driving dial 999 when it is safe to do so with information including their vehicle, registration number and current location.
During last year’s campaign police officers in North Yorkshire conducted 1,035 roadside tests across 32 days. From the 1,035 tests at the side of the road, 121 people were arrested for drink and drug driving offences.
Roads Policing Sergeant, Paul Cording from North Yorkshire Police said: “We make no apology for taking people off the streets who choose to drive when under the influence of drink or drugs.
“We’re not prepared to allow the careless actions of one individual ruin a family’s Christmas.
“If you know someone is about to drive and you believe they are under the influence of drink or drugs call us on 999. We endeavour to act on all information that we receive.
“The message is simple, have a Merry Christmas, but be safe, don’t shatter lives.”