Don't gamble with your life - Police launch Operation
Young drivers in North Wales are being
targeted by a new North Wales Police campaign.
Under the strap line of ‘Don’t gamble with your life’, the
force-wide ‘Operation Sodium’ campaign aims to tackle drink and
drug driving amongst young people aged between 17 and
The campaign has been launched in response to
the growing number of young people who are being fatally injured on
the roads of north Wales, and especially rural roads.
Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North
Wales Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “Young driver
‘blameworthy’ collisions are when the driver of the vehicle is aged
16 to 25 years and has either contributed to, or caused the
“The number of collisions involving young
drivers is disproportionate to the percentage of road users – fatal
young driver ‘blameworthy’ collisions have experienced an increase
of 50% and serious injury young driver ‘blameworthy’ collisions
have experienced an increase of 5.8% - and these figures are
“People tell me that drink and drug driving is
seen as socially unacceptable in our communities. I don’t think it
is seen that way by everyone as we are seeing far too many people
gambling with their lives and all too often the gamble is
“Younger drivers tend to take more risks and
this is a cause for great concern. This particular campaign is
aimed at reducing the number of young drink-drivers and those who
drive whilst under the influence of drugs, who are putting their
lives, and the lives of other road users, at risk on our roads.
He added: “There is a perception out there
that drivers in rural areas believe they have less chance of
getting caught drunk behind the wheel which we are going to change.
People should be aware that we will be patrolling rural roads,
including public houses’ car parks and stopping young drivers to
talk to them.
“There is a clear message here that we will
not tolerate drinking and drug driving on the roads of north Wales.
The message I have is simple – think twice, make a decision not to
drink and drive as you will get stopped by the police.”
Some of the emerging issues and factors in
young driver fatalities include drink and drug driving, excessive
speed, aggressive driving, failing to wear a seatbelt and having
passengers on board, with alcohol emerging as a main causation
The campaign will see officers from the Roads
Policing Unit as well as Local Policing Services stepping up checks
and stopping vehicles. Operations will be planned and areas
targeted and both covert and overt tactics will be used.
Specially designed posters have been
distributed across licensed premises throughout north Wales and
leaflets will be handed out by the officers visiting those premises
in rural areas.
North Wales Police has a robust strategy
around enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences which are drink and drug
driving, dangerous driving including unnecessary risk taking,
speeding, failing to wear a seat belt and using a mobile phone
Chief Inspector Wareing added: “We are
committed to assisting in reducing casualties on the road through
the use of targeted operations around high risk groups of people
and locations while enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences.
“The risk of being seriously injured or killed rises dramatically
if a decision is taken to commit a ‘Fatal 5’ offence and I want
people to be aware of the devastating affect it can have and make a
conscious decision not to take any chances.”
If you have information regarding drink
driving or if know of anybody who regularly drives whilst over the
legal drink drive limit, contact North Wales Police on 101 or
Crimestoppers Wales anonymously on 0800 555 111 – it could help
save a life.