Numbers down but still people take risk

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TAYSIDE Police detected 18 drivers for drink driving related offences over the two weeks of the national Summer Safety Campaign 2012.

Incidents of note:

Among those detected was a 53-year-old man who was seen driving in Dunning by members of the public who believed he had been drinking. He provided a reading of 113 mics - more than three times the legal limit.

On June 5, acting on information from the public, a 40-year-old woman was traced in Kinross. She provided a reading of 73 mics - more than twice the limit. She was also reported for carrying a 14-year-old child in the vehicle to their danger.

And on June 10, again in response to information from the public, officers stopped a 34-year-old man who provided a reading at the station of 131 mics - nearly four times the legal limit.

Yet again, the Force is extremely encouraged and grateful for the excellent continued support of the public for the campaign.

Four of those detected and removed from the road were as a direct result of calls received from the public who expressed great concern about the way individuals were driving, or that someone was even intending to get behind a wheel after drinking alcohol.

Of the 18 drivers dealt with, 12 were men and six were women. Two drivers were in the 17 to 25 year age group.

Six drivers were detected as a result of being involved in road traffic collisions. Thankfully and due to good fortune, no one was very seriously injured in these collisions. The consequences for those injured, or who have had their vehicles or property damaged by these drivers are bad enough, but experience has shown that the outcomes could have could have been very much worse.

Eight drivers were detected as a result of direct action by police officers undertaking patrols in both marked and unmarked cars across the force area. Of those detected, there were five instances where it was requested that forfeiture of the vehicle be considered by the courts.

Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, head of road policing in Tayside, said: “The numbers of drivers detected during this two-week campaign shows a slight reduction from last year’s campaign where 23 drivers were brought before the courts. Whilst this reduction is encouraging to a degree, it is still totally unacceptable that some 18 drivers failed to take account of our warnings about the dangers and consequences of drink driving, took the risk and got behind the wheel of a vehicle.

“By doing so, their thoughtless and selfish actions placed them and all other road users at risk. It is very apparent there can be no let up in the quest to rid Tayside’s roads of those drivers who are prepared to drive under the influence of either drink or drugs.

“Law abiding and safety conscious members of the public share our concerns and have no tolerance for this behaviour and I would thank all of those members of our communities who have contacted us to help prevent tragedies. Our shared concerns will see us continue to work together in identifying and detecting those irresponsible drivers who harbour the potential to cause heartbreak and misery on our roads.”

And Chief Inspector Bowman said that their decision to drink drive will be costly. “The majority of drivers detected were kept in custody overnight – and some over weekends - and a number have already appeared at court. They now face all of the far reaching consequences of their actions; ones they could have avoided if they had taken heed of our warnings.

“Whilst they will invariably lose their driving licence and receive a fine, some may lose more than that. Their jobs, livelihoods, family and personal life will all be affected to varying degrees simply because they took that unnecessary risk. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Whilst the focus of this campaign was on drink/drug driving, Tayside Police continued to provide education and carry out enforcement action around other road safety dangers and risks.

Officers detected 61 drivers who had failed to wear a seatbelt, along with 10 front seat passengers and one rear seat passenger. Thankfully no children were found to be inappropriately restrained.

A total of 88 drivers were detected driving while using a mobile ‘phone and 207 drivers were detected speeding by police officers. Furthermore, Tayside Safety Camera Partnership detected some 592 vehicles travelling in excess of the posted speed limits across Tayside.

Some 23 vehicles were seized from their drivers, as they either had no valid insurance or current driving licence. A further two vehicles were seized from their drivers because they were being used in an anti social manner.

Chief Inspector Bowman continued: “Whilst this particular campaign has come to an end, I must re-emphasise that Tayside Police’s efforts to remove these people from the roads will not diminish. Our officers will continue to take every opportunity to detect drink/drug drivers.

“Drivers should remember that they do not have to be involved in a collision to be required to provide a breath test. It is quite simple Don’t Risk It!

“My thanks go out to the public for their continued support. Together we can make the roads of Tayside and Scotland safer. If you suspect a drink or drug driver, please contact us on 0300 111 2222, or contact the charity Crimestoppers in complete confidence on 0800 555 111 at any time. If it is an emergency – call 999.”