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Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are appealing to motorists to drive sensibly and safely this holiday season via their #OpJingles campaign.
Almost one person a day was seriously injured on Cheshire’s roads last Christmas, despite the roads being quieter than usual due to the COVID-19 guidelines. Officers are urging people to take extra care and be mindful of the common causes of road traffic collisions (RTCs).
There are five main contributory factors that cause serious RTCs, referred to as the Fatal Five. They are:
1. Careless driving
2. Drink and drug driving
3. Not wearing a seat belt
4. Using a mobile phone
Road users who commit one of the Fatal Five offences are far more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than those who do not.
At this time of year with changeable weather, hectic schedules and increased social activities, it’s crucial to have heightened awareness when using the roads.
Cheshire Constabulary Chief Constable, Mark Roberts said: “We are committed to protecting road users and will target irresponsible and dangerous drivers in a bid to reduce serious and fatal RTCs.
“Cheshire Police Officers are equipped with breathalyser and drug detection kits and they will be stopping road users who they suspect of drink or drug driving.
“If anyone is thinking of going out and getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs, they should think again. Taking even a very small amount of an illegal drug can put drivers over the legal driving limit and have fatal consequences.
“Even the morning after, you may still be over the limit. Alcohol can stay in the system for longer than you think, so officers will be targeting motorists at any time of day or night.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer, Mark Cashin said: “Our main aim is to keep people safe over the festive period, which is why we have launched our seasonal safety campaign.
“We engage with the public in person and on our social media pages with advice and guidance, and work with our partners across Cheshire to emphasise the importance of road safety.
“Our firefighters know only too well how many Christmases can be ruined by road traffic collisions and we want people to have a happy and safe Christmas.”
PC Chris Swash of the Roads and Crime Unit added: “It’s really important that we get a message out to people that it isn’t OK [to drink or drug drive], you may think you’re alright but you need to be absolutely certain that you’re safe and fit to drive. It could be your brother, your sister, your mum or your dad, or your gran that you could unnecessarily knock down because you’re driving under the influence.
“It takes its toll on officers, we’re attending awful RTCs almost on a weekly basis at the moment.”
If you suspect anyone of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, report it to Cheshire Police. You can also submit dashcam footage via our website: Report
In an emergency, always dial 999.
You can also make a report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.