Staffordshire Police Begin Annual Drink Drive Campaign

Staffordshire Police have started their Christmas clampdown on drink and drug drivers.

The campaign, co-ordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), will run throughout Staffordshire and the rest of the country from today until 1 January 2012.

Many people socialise after work, in the evening or at the weekend through the festive season and the campaign aims to drive down fatal and serious road traffic collisions and protect other road users by enforcement and education.

Inspector Ian Hancock, Road Policing Team, said

Officers will be carrying out roadside stop checks across Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire on drivers during the campaign – both at night-time and the morning after.  Anyone suspected of being over the limit will be breath-tested. All drivers involved in road traffic collisions which the police attend are also tested.

If you’re going out for a drink with friends or family think of the consequences of drink driving and nominate a designated driver.  

Don’t forget that you could still be over the limit the next morning if you drink the night before.

Last Christmas we stopped thousands of vehicles and breath-tested over 1,800 drivers – arresting 118 people.  

We are committed to reducing the number of fatal and serious road traffic collisions in Staffordshire.

Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is both anti social and dangerous.

Staffordshire Police want to make it clear that It is against the law and the offences committed have both short and long term consequences

  • when you are caught you will be breath tested and if positive you will be arrested
  • you will be taken to a police station and if the station test is positive, or you fail or refuse to provide a blood or urine sample, you will be charged
  • you will attend court and if found guilty, you will be banned from driving for a period of at least 12 months. You will have to pay a hefty fine, court costs or even be given a prison sentence

What happens next?

  • losing your licence may mean losing your job and your standard of living
  • you could lose the respect of friends and family and you will have a criminal record
  • you may be excluded from travelling to some countries. When you can drive again you will pay a lot more for insurance cover.

If someone was to be seriously injured or killed as a result of your involvement in a road traffic collision, you could be charged with a more serious offence, the consequences from which will be much more serious and possibly in addition to those already stated

  • your driving ban will be longer
  • your fine will be bigger
  • you are more likely to go to prison
  • the families of those maimed by serious injuries, the injured themselves who may not be able to work again, and the relatives of anyone killed by your actions, will remember you for the rest of their lives

Insp Hancock added

Remember, drinking or drug driving is anti social, against the law and it can ruin lives and families. The family could be yours.  

Is drink or drug driving worth the risk of these consequences?

 

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Summer Safety Campaign

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up Sainsbury’s to launch their Summer Safety campaign.

Firefighters will be visiting Sainsbury’s stores across the County to promote summer fire safety to shoppers. Promotional safety flyers will also be displayed next to barbecue equipment in the stores.

Head of Risk Reduction, Ian Sloss said, ‘As the weather warms up, many people will hold barbecues and we need to ensure that we prevent as many incidents from occurring as possible. Of course it is not only barbecues which pose an outdoor fire risk, grass fires are also a problem over the summer months and last year firefighters attended over 40 grass fires every week throughout summer. We are hoping that by displaying the safety flyers in Sainsbury’s supermarkets we will be reaching our target audience and encouraging people to take extra care this summer.’

The flyers will be displayed throughout June, July and August and offer advice to anyone planning a barbecue, such as making sure the barbecue is well away from sheds, fences and other materials which could easily ignite and never leaving a barbecue unattended.

Neil Lennox, Group Head of Safety at Sainsbury’s said, ‘Staying safe when using barbecues over the summer months is very important and we want to help to ensure the safety of our customers in any way possible. Our stores are at the very heart of the community they serve and we want to make a positive difference to Staffordshire.’

To Grit Or Not To Grit

How appropriate that just as we have the first cold snap of the winter period the City Council proposes to slash the number of roads that are gritted by nearly half, to save £100,000 per year. At a meeting on Wednesday, finance officers responded to councillors concerns with the well rehearsed line, “We are going to have to make some tough choices this year!”.

We. WE!

To City Council officers these are just costings; lines on a budget sheet. Councillors have to make the tough decisions on the budget ““ we will be the ones held to account by the public while they carry on sitting in their cosy offices picking up their fat pay cheques.

Meanwhile, the biggest losers will be the public, footing the bill.

Ross Irving, said:

“Protect public services from the need to cut the budget due to the recession.”

Well what are the consequences of cutting the gritting budget in half ““ reducing the coverage of roads from 46% down to 25%?

In pure logistical terms the cut will mean all bus routes off the main roads will not be treated, according to a senior officer with responsibility for responsive highways maintenance. It will also mean some main road in Stoke-on-Trent (A and B roads) will also not be gritted. Not side streets but the main arteries of the City.

For Stoke-on-Trent as a whole it will mean no buses on estates, stranding workers, school children and pensioners in their own homes. If we have a prolonged cold snap this could be very serious particularly for pensioners.

It will mean in severe weather, gridlock like we have never seen it before, untreated main roads, increased likelihood of accidents with potential fatal results.

What cost then to the City to save £100,000 per year. Wages lost to low paid staff unable to get into work. Business lost through lack of customers and missed deliveries. These are just some results and I am sure there are many, many more.

A simple, innocent looking single line in a budget cutting report. A torrent of negative consequences.

Just one more reason why every single proposed cut needs to be put under the spotlight and thoroughly scrutinised ““ not just given a tick with the stroke of a pen and a pat on the back.

Operation Tintman

By Mike Rawlins

Motorists whose car windows have dangerous tints are to be targeted by police as part of a winter driving campaign. Operation Tintman aims to continue the work done by Staffordshire Police to reduce collisions on the roads.

Operation Tintman will be staged at three locations across the city between now and Christmas. Officers will be working from the mobile police station between 9am and 3pm on the following dates:

  • Saturday 14 November – Next to Pizza Hunt on Festival Park.
  • Saturday 5 December – Tesco Extra car park in Longton.
  • Saturday 19 December – Matalan car park, Tunstall.

Officers will be on site advising motorists on window tints throughout the day.   They will also be advising on the importance of using seatbelts and child restraints, and warning against the use of mobile phones and other hand-held devices whilst driving.  Throughout the day officers will be leaving notices on cars parked at the three locations which have potentially dangerous, or illegal, levels of window tint.

If motorists find a leaflet on their car they are invited to speak to an officer to get the vehicle checked over.

Sergeant Ian Revans, the division’s road policing sergeant, said “no action will be taken against drivers who voluntarily get their vehicle checked at the Operation Tintman events. We are giving motorists the chance to get the level of window tint checked on their vehicle, and take action if necessary, to avoid being in a collision and/or being prosecuted because of it. There have been collisions in Staffordshire where the level of window tint in a vehicle has proved to be a contributory factor. We are continuing to work with our partner agencies to drive down the number of serious and fatal collisions on the roads of Stoke-on-Trent. Through education and enforcement activities we are continually informing motorists of their responsibilities on the roads.”