Norfolk police chief’s drink drive warning
Norfolk Chief Constable Philip Gormley has thrown his weight behind the Norfolk Constabulary road policing unit's drink-drive campaign. And while he wants people to enjoy the festive period, he has some words to get drivers thinking.
The Think! Norfolk Christmas Drink Drive campaign was launched on Thursday, and yesterday Mr Gormley and members of the road unit were out at Plumstead Road East, Thorpe End, on the edge of Norwich, to emphasise the need for caution over the Christmas period.
Armed with hand-held laser devices, the police team also hoped to assure people that motorists would be caught should they drink and drive.
Mr Gormley said: 'I've led roads policing the last few months nationally, and it is just such an important piece of police activity.
'The numbers of people who are killed or have their lives blighted by road traffic collisions is far too high, and drink-driving is still a huge contributory factor.
'It is really important this time of the year. We want people to go out and have a good time – it's a pretty miserable time at the moment – but we want them to do it safely, and make sensible provisions to get home without putting people at risk.'
Mr Gormley also highlighted a factor which may not be so apparent to drivers who managed to grab a good night's sleep after a night out.
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'Actually, particularly first thing in the morning, many people don't understand they will still be over the limit from the night before.
'Even if they've been to sleep, the alcohol will stay in your body depending on how much you've had, for hours and hours.
'A lot of people, if they have their office party or if they've been out socialising at this time of year, need to think 'how much did I have to drink?' before they get in the car in the morning.'
The team was at Bluebell Road in Norwich on Thursday, stopping more than 50 motorists. Happily, not one was found to be unfit to drive.
'I think increasingly people are making sensible provisions, using a designated driver and public transport, but I do think they are not as conscious of the problem with still being over the limit when you wake up in the morning after a night out,' added Mr Gormley.
'We have had a good response, people understand what we are doing, they want reassurance that other road users are safe to be in vehicles. This will be happening all over the country, it is a national effort to prevent the carnage that is being caused. The single most likely way of meeting a violent and unexpected death in this country is on the roads.'
Around 1,850 people were killed on the roads in England last year.
'In terms of preserving life – a key function of the police,' said Mr Gormley, 'this is an extraordinarily important piece of work.'
Norfolk police have launched a new website – wwww.askgus.mobi – to help people find the safest transport home at night or the morning after.
Easily accessible by phone, it locates the person and the nearest transport options, as well as showing a map of nearest bus stops, trains and taxis.