North Yorkshire Firemen deal with aftermath of road accidents
EXTRA patrols and breath tests are on the cards for motorists across North Yorkshire in the run up to Christmas.
Police, health officials and other members of the Richmondshire Community Safety Partnership (RCSP) are urging residents to keep a clear head as the district's annual anti drink-drive campaign gets underway.
The Fire service and Police will be out and about across the Northern Yorkshire Dales from today until Christmas Eve, highlighting the potential consequences of drinking and then getting behind the wheel.
A wrecked car with mannequin driver will be placed at 14 prominent locations, including Catterick Garrison, Leyburn, Richmond, Hawes, Colburn and Reeth as a reminder of the risks of drink driving.
"As a partnership, we are hoping that everyone in the District will have a safe and happy Christmas", says RCSP Chair, Liz Smith.
"Unfortunately, it seems alcohol plays a major part in the higher number of road traffic accidents, anti-social behaviour and domestic violence incidents at this time of year. It is a time to enjoy ourselves, but we should also be aware of the impact of our behaviour on others, which could, in fact, be devastating."
Nationally, the number of people killed in drink drive collisions since 1998 continues to rise. Police roadblocks will be set up over the festive period in order to breathalyse drivers, and "morning after" tests will also be carried out on drivers who may still be over the limit from the previous evening.
The Richmondshire campaign is running alongside a separate move by North Yorkshire Police to target drink-drivers right across the county.
The force is promising extra patrols, extra breath tests and at least one static drink-drive check somewhere in the county every day until New Year.
"I want it to be quite clear," said Road Policing Sergeant Pete Mason, "we will be out there in numbers looking for the irresponsible idiots who think they can mix drink or drugs with driving.
"We will be across North Yorkshire's 6,000 miles of roads 24/7 in cars, bikes and vans - most very visible, some extremely plain - and on foot."
Static checks will be operated without warning at different times of day and night. Every driver or rider stopped anywhere in North Yorkshire for a moving traffic offence, such as speeding or having a defective light or exhaust, will be breath-tested. This comes in addition to the force's existing policy of breath-testing every driver involved in a road accident.
Sgt Mason added: "This looks like a lot commitment and resources being deployed for one purpose - and it is. The whole issue of driving after taking drink or drugs is literally a matter of life or death, and our campaign reflects that."
Locations and dates for the Richmondshire drink-drive campaign:
Tuesday 12th Catterick Garrison
Wednesday 13th Catterick Garrison
Thursday 14th Catterick Garrison
Friday 15th Market Square, Leyburn
Saturday 16th Co-op, Queen Street, Richmond
Sunday 17th Catterick Market, Catterick Racecourse
Wednesday 20th Market Place, Hawes
Thursday 21st Broadway, Colburn
Friday 22nd Market Place, Reeth
Saturday 23rd Market Place, Richmond
Sunday 24th Tesco, Catterick Garrison