Police launch annual road campaign

Tayside Police, along with all other Scottish Forces, will take part in the annual Summer Safety Drink/Drug Driving campaign which gets underway today (Monday).

The two-week campaign, which also targets speeding, seatbelt and mobile phone offences, runs until Monday, June 18.

The aim of the initiative is to reduce the number of road traffic collisions and associated injuries on Tayside’s roads by reducing the number of drink or drug drivers, educating road users and enforcing road traffic legislation.

Tayside Police continually operate a robust policy in respect of drink and/or drug drivers and this year’s summer campaign provides a further opportunity to demonstrate the force’s commitment to road safety.

Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, Head of Road Policing, said: “Our commitment to dealing with drink/drug drivers lasts throughout the year. This specific campaign, although only covering a period of two weeks, provides the police with another opportunity to remind the public of the dangers of driving under the influence or drink and/or drugs.

“Already this year, we have had some good spells of weather which have resulted in impromptu social events with friends and family. Hopefully in anticipation of further good weather, there will be many more opportunities for everyone to enjoy themselves.

“Events, such as barbecues or larger more organised events, outside entertainment events, concerts, the ongoing Queens Jubilee celebrations, and sporting events, for example, are all fantastic occasions to socialise in relaxed surroundings and many people will take the opportunity to have some alcoholic drinks.

“However it is important to remember that the measures of alcoholic drinks consumed at social events can be significantly more than pub measures. Unfortunately, people can get caught up in the moment and unintentionally or otherwise over-indulge in alcohol. Whatever the occasion, as responsible individuals, we all have a duty to consider the amount of alcohol we consume if we intend on driving.

“It is worth bearing in mind that even if you make alternative arrangements to get home after an event, you could be over the limit the next day, depending upon the amount you have had to drink. The effects of alcohol do not wear off immediately and drivers must be aware of this if they intend driving the following morning. Make sure you do not get caught out.

“We would also ask motorists to consider the effects that other substances may have on their ability to drive. Whilst the dangers of illicit drugs are very much apparent, the impact of over the counter and prescribed medication should not be overlooked. An excess of these drugs can have a significant effect on a driver’s ability to react and perceive dangers on the road.

“A combination of alcohol and drugs will undoubtedly further impair a driver’s reactions and consequently this will significantly increase the risk of being involved in a collision.

“If you are planning to drive, then you have an individual responsibility to ensure that you do not over-indulge. The best advice is to abstain completely - DON’T RISK IT.’’

“The penalties you risk by driving under the influence of drink or drugs are significant. Disqualification, monetary penalties and potentially a prison sentence, not to mention losing your vehicle, are all very real possibilities.

“Aside from commuting between home and work, many people and their families rely on having a vehicle to meet the social and domestic commitments of daily life. The loss of a licence, or a vehicle, can also have a major impact on current and future employment.

“Whilst there is no doubt this could have a significant effect on your home and work life, driving under the influence of drink or drugs dramatically increases the risk of being involved in a collision. This carries the additional risk of potentially causing the death or serious injury of yourself or others. As a driver you must consider these consequences before driving.”

Tayside Police would urge anyone who suspects that a person is committing an offence to contact police.

Chief Inspector Bowman said: “Motorists who are detected driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs face the strong possibility of being kept in custody – sometimes over a weekend period – and they will appear before the courts at the earliest opportunity, with a view to making sure they are removed from the road.

“Throughout the year the public are very supportive of our efforts to rid the roads of drink and drug drivers who place us all at risk. In previous campaigns around a third of all those arrested were as a result of calls from members of the public and we would ask for this continued support so that we can make the roads safer for everybody.

“Any member of the public who wishes to report a drink or drug driver is urged to contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or if urgent via the 999 system. The simple answer is - “DON’T RISK IT.”