Do you know how much time you have to react to something on the road when driving? That is the question being asked during this summer’s anti-drink and drug driving campaign, which is supported by Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex.
The Essex Police and Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) campaign started on Thursday, June 14 and runs until Sunday, July 15 to coincide with the World Cup and focusses on how reaction times behind the wheel is impacted by alcohol or drugs.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Improving safety on our roads is one of the key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan. Our objective is to reduce harm on the roads and promote safer driving. We have to stop people who think its ok to drive whilst under the influence of drink and drugs. These crimes kill more people than all the violence and knife crime you read about in the papers. And the consequences can be absolutely devastating for families of people who are killed or seriously injured as a result of a traffic collision. I am sure we would all agree it is just not acceptable if that has been caused by the selfish actions of someone who has been drinking or taking drugs whilst watching a sporting event or enjoying themselves at a summer barbeque. My message is this – think about how it might feel to destroy someone’s life: don’t do it and don’t let your friends do it.”
“We often see an increase during the summer months as people enjoy the good weather at barbeques or in beer gardens.
“This year’s campaign focusses on reaction time and how that’s affected by drink and drug driving.
“We’ve based it around a barbeque scenario, using games you might play, because anecdotal evidences suggests that’s a key element to the issue at this time of year.”
Officers from the Roads Policing Unit will be carrying out proactive stops around the county throughout the campaign but Mr Pipe says that information from the public is crucial to tackling the issue.
He said: “I believe communities around Essex feel as strongly about drink and drug driving as we do and they won’t tolerate it.
“If you have any information about someone who is drink or drug driving I need you to tell us so we can get them off our roads.
“You can call the police on 101, use the Safer Essex Roads Partnership’s ‘Extra Eyes’ website or contact Crimestoppers.”
107 people were arrested during last summer’s campaign which ran between June 1 and June 30, 2017.
Nicola Foster, Chair of SERP, said: “Drinking can affect your decision making and increase your reaction time. Drivers who have been drinking may drive faster, may miss traffic lights or hazards and may even lose control of their vehicle.
“If you meet such a driver, the likelihood of you being killed or seriously injured is a third higher than if they had not had a drink. A sobering thought?
“Help us to keep everyone on the roads safe by being aware of how much you, or your driver, is drinking, by making travel plans before you start drinking and by sticking to them.
“The nature of barbeques can mean it’s often difficult to know how much you’ve been drinking. Drinks might be refilled without you even noticing. It is far safer to drive knowing you’ve had no alcohol whatsoever.
“Police officers will be carrying out additional road checks during the summer months but you have a part to play too. If you suspect someone of drink or drug driving, you can report them via our Extra Eyes initiative which seeks to detect and deter poor and dangerous driving.”
If you have any information about a drink or drug driver please call 101, log on to the ‘Extra Eyes’ website at http://saferessexroads.org/extraeyes/ or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Essex Police will be issuing the details of those arrested during the campaign when they are convicted to highlight the consequences of drink and drug driving.
If your enquiry relates to operational policing or a crime please contact Essex Police here