Don't gamble with your life - Police launch Operation SodiumPhotograph of a North Wales Police Traffic Car

09/08/2012

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 25-years-old.

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 collision.

 

“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 worrying.

 

“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 lost.”

 

“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 factor.

 

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.Photograph of someone being breath tested

 

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 whilst driving.

 

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.

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