Drink driving campaign

Grampian Police has called on the public to report drink drivers as part of a new drive to reduce the number of people killed or injured on North East roads.

As part of the ‘The Mourning After’ campaign, launched on Monday at Thainstone, the force are calling on North East communities to play their part in reducing the numbers of drink drivers on our roads.

The call comes as Grampian Police revealed alcohol was a potential contributory factor in as many as 25% of all fatal road collisions in 2011.

And now First Minister and Gordon MSP Alex Salmond has added his voice to the campaign.

Roads Policing Inspector Roddy MacInnes said: “Too many people are needlessly killed or injured as a result of motorists using their vehicles irresponsibly.

“To see such a high proportion of fatal collisions happen as a result of alcohol – either by a motorist or pedestrian – is absolutely shocking. Unfortunately, there is only so much Grampian Police can do in isolation and we need the public to not only support us by reporting any motorists but to do what they can to prevent it in the first place.

“We have seen a rise in the number of incidents being reported to us by members of the public but all too often people will resist the temptation to report a friend or relative to the police through a false sense of loyalty.

“That sense of loyalty is worthless when yet another family have been left to mourn the loss of a son or daughter.”

For years Grampian Police has been working throughout the region to educate motorists about the dangers of using their vehicles irresponsibly whilst carrying out high-profile enforcement campaigns.

Last year there were 206 collisions in Grampian which involved alcohol as a contributory factor and during May alone 45 motorists have been charged with driving while under the influence.

First Minister Alex Salmond has also backed Grampian Police’s latest campaign to tackle the drink drive problem.

He said: “It is very welcome that Grampian Police are launching this important campaign to save lives and remind people of their responsibilities.

“Drink driving has devastating consequences for the victims of this reckless behaviour.

“Clearly attitudes have to change but it is also of paramount importance that friends, family and colleagues take the opportunity to intervene and stop drivers from undertaking such behaviour.”

Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership has also linked with this campaign and is currently working with licensees to encourage them to join the Aberdeenshire Designated Driver Scheme which will see those drivers who have undertaken to take others to licensed premises for a night out and to stay alcohol free, being offered either discounted or free soft drinks.

Kate Rigby, Strategy Development Officer (Community Safety) with Aberdeenshire Council warmly supported the campaign and said: “The Partnership is always keen to work with others to reduce the number of collisions on our roads”.

Road Policing Constable Gemma Booth, who along with a colleague devised the campaign, said: “We are always grateful when a member of the public reports a suspected drink driver, but as an operational officer who has dealt with numerous fatal and serious road traffic collisions, I would far prefer if someone had prevented them getting behind the wheel in the first place – that way everyone stays safe”.