Published: Friday, 22nd December 2023
Kent County Council and Medway Council has launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of driving after drinking or taking drugs.
Medway Council is partnering with Kent County Council, Kent Police, and Kent Fire and Rescue Service to educate people who may take an unnecessary risk over Christmas and New Year.
The campaign brings together members of the Kent and Medway Safer Roads Partnership and allows them to better promote the penalties people face if they are caught drink or drug driving, as well as the other life-changing consequences that can follow from getting behind the wheel when you are impaired.
In 2022 drink and drugs contributed to 11 crashes that resulted in death and 78 crashes resulting in serious injuries on Kent and Medway’s roads and motorways.
In these crashes a total of 13 people died and 98 were seriously injured.
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Neil Baker, said: “No one should have to suffer the consequences of drink or drug driving, which can cause serious injury and, in the most heartbreaking cases, death.
“We are working with the Kent and Medway Safer Roads Partnership to raise awareness of the risks posed by getting behind the wheel when you are not fit to.
“Our message is simple, make the right choice this Christmas – enjoy yourselves but do not drink or take drugs and drive.”
The consequences can be life changing
Inspector David Crompton of Kent Police said: “We take a zero-tolerance approach to drink and drug driving at all times of the year, and this campaign helps to put the focus onto tackling this type of offending.
“Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is a completely avoidable offence that places innocent members of the public in unnecessary danger.
“It is known to be one of the four most common causes of a serious collision, alongside not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone at the wheel and speeding. While only a very small minority of motorists commit offences of this nature, the consequences can be life changing for all involved.”
Help us keep our roads safer
Mark Woodward, Assistant Director for Customer and Building Safety at Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) said: “Everyone knows it is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs – it’s as simple as that.
“Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will impair your judgement when you’re driving, which could result in a serious road crash with devastating and life-changing consequences. If you saw what our crews have to see at these incidents, you would think twice about getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
“Please, help us to keep our roads safer and don’t drive if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
Please stop and think
Cllr Tris Osborne, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Enforcement, said: “Please stop and think before you get behind the wheel this festive season. Driving under the influence of drink or drugs puts your life, and the lives of those around you, at risk.
“We want all of our residents to enjoy themselves but most importantly, get home safely. Plan ahead when you are out and about this Christmas – make use of taxis, or have a designated driver with you if possible, and play your part in keeping Medway’s roads safe.”