WEST Mercia and Warwickshire Police have been out and about as part of this year’s winter driving campaign.
On Tuesday (December 17), Standard editor Tristan Harris joined PC Paul Bosley of Bromsgrove Police in a bid to clamp down on drink-driving and promote sensible motoring at this time of year.
AS WELL as the rise in those driving under the influence at this time of year, there are also other dangers facing motorists, other road users and pedestrians.
All of the drivers stopped by PC Bosley on Tuesday night gave negative breath tests, which hopefully means the message is getting through.
A number of motorists were stopped for using excessive speed when driving through Bromsgrove town centre with one receiving an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three points on his licence for doing almost 50mph in a built-up 30mph road.
“That is absolutely unacceptable,” said PC Bosley.
“It’s been an evening where it has rained constantly and a number of drivers have not been altering their behaviour to the road conditions.
“It’s a time of year when people are on nights out and socialising and have drink on board.
“There’s more chance of those people stepping out into the road and that, coupled with the conditions and excessive speed, is a recipe for disaster.”
He said those breaking the speed limit and, needing longer braking distances to stop, could easily injure or kill someone.
And, being a person who has had to break that kind of bad news to the victim’s loved ones in the past, he said it just simply was not worth the risk.
Tuesday’s operation featured Bromsgrove Local Policing Officers, who were assisted by the station’s Operational Policing Unit.
Two uninsured vehicles were stopped and one of those was seized – both were reported for summons.
One man was also arrested on warrant for failing to appear at court.
Sgt Dave Hind from the OPU said “It is encouraging to see that none of the drivers who provided breath tests this evening were over the limit.
“Despite this, we are still seeing too many that are, with five arrests by my team last Saturday evening alone.
“West Mercia Police will continue to target drink drivers over the Christmas period.”
The five drink-drivers were all caught across Worcestershire, with 94 motorists in total arrested in the first two weeks across the West Mercia and Warwickshire force area as part of the annual Christmas and new year crackdown. One of those, alarmingly, was almost five times the drink-drive limit.
All this comes despite a high-profile publicity campaign to raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of drink or drug driving police are also conducting extra patrols across the area’s roads.
Vicki Bristow, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said: “It’s encouraging most motorists stopped during the course of the campaign have been under the drink drive limit and we’d like to thank those people that have co-operated with roadside checks that have been taking place.
“However from the results seen so far there are obviously still people out there who feel they can gamble with drinking and driving and think they know how much the limit is or simply just don’t care or think they are not going to be caught. The simple fact is, there is only one way of being sure that you are safe to drive and that is not to drink at all.”
Those caught drink driving face a minimum 12 month driving ban, a fine of up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison.