A campaign to clamp down on drink and drug driving around Greater Manchester will be put in action this summer ahead of the World Cup.
The month-long ‘None for the road’ campaign, which last year resulted in 252 arrests following almost 5,000 breath tests, hopes to deliver an even stronger message through social media and posters in pubs around the region.
Greater Manchester Police, in Albert Square until 2.30pm today with a real wreckage from a fatal drink driving accident, have joined forces with Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service, the Police & Crime Commissioner, Drivesafe and local authorities to raise awareness.
— G M Police (@gmpolice) June 2, 2014
Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith said: “This year’s World Cup heightens the risk of drink driving and while we’re not looking to spoil anybody’s fun, we’d urge supporters to plan ahead and arrange transport prior to kick off so they don’t turn an evening of celebration into a lifetime of regret.’’
The Police and Crime Commissioner and road safety group DriveSafe will allow police officers to carry portable drug testing machines to test if a driver is under the influence of drugs without having to wait for blood test result from a doctor.
Following on from Christmas, police are continuing to encourage people to kick the booze rather than to dilute their consumption and will be hammering home the ‘none for the road’ message.
“Our officers have seen first-hand the devastation caused by drink and drug driving and we make absolutely no apology for relentlessly targeting this type of behaviour as it could save lives,” said Inspector Bailey-Smith.
“If you don’t trust yourself not to drink then our simple advice is to leave the car at home. The only safe amount to drink if driving is none at all so do yourself and other road users a favour and leave the car keys alone.
“Be aware also that you might still be over the limit the following morning, particularly after some of the later kick-offs. Our officers will be out around the clock targeting drink drivers so make sure you are safe to drive before getting behind the wheel.”
Deputy PCC Jim Battle added that late kick offs during the World Cup this year pose a worry for police.
England play Italy at 11pm on June 15, Uruguay at 8pm on June 19 and Costa Rica at 5pm on June 24.
“If you have been drinking late, please leave your car at home when going to work the next day – it’s simply not worth taking the risk,” he said.
Karen Delaney, Communications Officer from Drivesafe, said with World Cup fever comes a heightened sense of excitement.
“It’s so easy to get carried away when watching the football.
“Everyone is so excited about England’s potential fortunes, it is easy to get carried away and go over the limit without realising it. That’s why our message is ‘None For The Road’.
“If you’re planning on watching the match and having few drinks, don’t take the risk of getting behind the wheel, Greater Manchester has a fantastic public transport network and if all else fails just call a cab.”
GMP will be holding a drink drive Twitter chat on Thursday June 5 and tweeting live from a traffic shift on Saturday June 13, the day after the World Cup starts.
Follow @gmpolice and @gmptraffic for more information.
Main image courtesy of GM Police via YouTube, with thanks.