Staffordshire Police Begin Annual Drink Drive Campaign

Staffordshire Police have started their Christmas clampdown on drink and drug drivers.

The campaign, co-ordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), will run throughout Staffordshire and the rest of the country from today until 1 January 2012.

Many people socialise after work, in the evening or at the weekend through the festive season and the campaign aims to drive down fatal and serious road traffic collisions and protect other road users by enforcement and education.

Inspector Ian Hancock, Road Policing Team, said

Officers will be carrying out roadside stop checks across Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire on drivers during the campaign – both at night-time and the morning after.  Anyone suspected of being over the limit will be breath-tested. All drivers involved in road traffic collisions which the police attend are also tested.

If you’re going out for a drink with friends or family think of the consequences of drink driving and nominate a designated driver.  

Don’t forget that you could still be over the limit the next morning if you drink the night before.

Last Christmas we stopped thousands of vehicles and breath-tested over 1,800 drivers – arresting 118 people.  

We are committed to reducing the number of fatal and serious road traffic collisions in Staffordshire.

Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is both anti social and dangerous.

Staffordshire Police want to make it clear that It is against the law and the offences committed have both short and long term consequences

  • when you are caught you will be breath tested and if positive you will be arrested
  • you will be taken to a police station and if the station test is positive, or you fail or refuse to provide a blood or urine sample, you will be charged
  • you will attend court and if found guilty, you will be banned from driving for a period of at least 12 months. You will have to pay a hefty fine, court costs or even be given a prison sentence

What happens next?

  • losing your licence may mean losing your job and your standard of living
  • you could lose the respect of friends and family and you will have a criminal record
  • you may be excluded from travelling to some countries. When you can drive again you will pay a lot more for insurance cover.

If someone was to be seriously injured or killed as a result of your involvement in a road traffic collision, you could be charged with a more serious offence, the consequences from which will be much more serious and possibly in addition to those already stated

  • your driving ban will be longer
  • your fine will be bigger
  • you are more likely to go to prison
  • the families of those maimed by serious injuries, the injured themselves who may not be able to work again, and the relatives of anyone killed by your actions, will remember you for the rest of their lives

Insp Hancock added

Remember, drinking or drug driving is anti social, against the law and it can ruin lives and families. The family could be yours.  

Is drink or drug driving worth the risk of these consequences?

 

Firefighters Issue Icy Roads Warning Across Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire

With the cold snap set the continue and further snow fall predicted overnight and into the week, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging drivers to take extra care on the road.

Across the county, the fire service has attended 29 road traffic collisions in the past week, including early morning incidents when the roads are icy and visibility is restricted.

“During these icy conditions it’s really important for drivers to take their time and take extra care and try to stick to the main roads where possible. Make sure your vehicle is free from snow and ice, the windows are free from condensation and that you have adequate equipment, such as a scraper and de-icer, in the vehicle should it be required later in the day.

“Keep a safe distance away from the car in front of you and if conditions are treacherous it may be worth asking yourself if your journey is vital. If you are venturing out in poor driving conditions, make sure you have a warm blanket, some water and something to eat in the car as well as a fully charged mobile phone should you need to call for help.”

Out of the 29 road traffic collisions in the past seven days, nine took place over the weekend when the snow and ice was at its worst so far.

“Excessive speeds are in general a contributing factor in the majority of road traffic collisions, so it is essential that people re-evaluate the speeds they drive at when roads are icy.”

To book a free Home Fire Risk Check contact: 0800 0241 999. For all other non emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills. In an emergency dial 999.

Milton Residents To Be Consulted On Road Safety Plans

Proposed plans to improve the safety record along a stretch of road will be open to public consultation next week.

Plans to carry out a safety improvements along Millrise Road, Milton aim to reduce traffic speeds and to improve the safety of residents and pedestrians.

The areas is regarded as one of the highest priority traffic calming schemes in the city, due to the numerous accidents over the years caused as a result of excessive speed.

Between 2005 and 2009 eight accidents resulting in injury were reported on Millrise Road with a further four reported on the connecting Maunders Road.

Options available for the pubic to view will include improved pedestrian facilities and improved carriageway marking and signing.

Councillor Brian Ward, cabinet member for housing, planning and transportation, said, ‘The consultation process is a vital part in make sure that the plans the city council have put together meet the needs of the public. Road safety is a serious issue and we must make sure both motorists and pedestrians are as safe as possible while travelling around our city.’

The consultation will be open to the public between 10am and 7pm on Wednesday September 29 at Hayes Bowling Club off Millrise Road.

Stoke-on-Trent Road Safety Figures Smashed

The latest figures for road safety in Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire show that that death & serious injuries have dropped to their lowest ever levels.

Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership has announced a dramatic downward trend during the last five years with the number of people being killed or seriously injured plummeting by 32% from 464 in 2004 to 314 in 2009.

Chairman of the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership Governance Board David Wilson said, ‘Despite each casualty being one too many, this is fantastic news. Staffordshire’s unique approach to saving lives on our roads through its Safer Roads Partnership sees Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Services delivering an effective combination of education and enforcement ““ and the results speak for themselves. Working with communities that have road safety concerns, providing a comprehensive programme of pedestrian and cyclist training in schools and co-ordinating a raft of rider development and safety awareness initiatives for bikers are just some examples of how the partnership reaches every sector of our community with its road safety messages. However, we will not be taking a back seat. We will continue to keep the pressure on and work together to reduce road casualties even further.’

The new figures have smashed national casualty reduction targets set by the Department for Transport. In Staffordshire, those killed and seriously injured have exceeded the target by 7.7%.

These latest figures back up the work that the road safety team has been doing to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the area’s roads.

The team has also helped to reduce casualties among some of the most vulnerable road users.

A total of 364 motorcyclists were killed, seriously injured or sustained slight injuries last year compared to 418 in 2008, whilst casualties involving drivers and passengers aged between 16 and 25 also fell by 64 to 1,379.

Stoke-on-Trent Roads The Safest In England

By Mike Rawlins

According to figures just released by the Government, the roads in Stoke-on-Trent are the safest in England showing a 72% reduction for fatalities or serious injuries in 2008 compared to the average number recorded between 1994 & 1998.

In 2008 30 people were seriously injured and 5 were killed on roads in the city less than half of the corresponding figure for 2007 which was 82 in total. The government figures also show that 2008 had the lowest recorded levels of casualties in Stoke-on-Trent since records began. Between 1994 and 1998 the average number of people killed or seriously injured on the city’s roads was 126.

All categories of road injuries have shown a decrease or have stayed at the same level. There has been a sharp decrease in the numbers of children killed or seriously injured which has fallen from 21 in 2007 to only 4 in 2008. The numbers of pedestrians killed or seriously injured has also dropped from 39 in 2007 to 14 last year. Similarly those slightly injured in traffic collisions have fallen from 1,082 in 2007 to 912 during 2008.

The numbers of cyclists killed or seriously injured has remained at the same low level despite a 16% increase in cycle use over the same period. Motorcycle casualties have also fallen from 19 in 2007 to 8 in 2008.

Councillor Terry Follows, cabinet member for community safety, cohesion and communication said: “This excellent news shows that our ongoing road safety strategies are working well and that the public are responding to the need to be careful while travelling around Stoke-on-Trent. We are working closely with our partners including Staffordshire Police and the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership to reduce dangerous driving and encourage behavioural change. Our work focuses around the well-established principles of education, engineering and enforcement. We are delivering a balanced package of improvements across these areas, and the casualty figures show that our strategy is working. However, whilst these results are encouraging we still recognise that even one death is tragic for all those concerned. We must therefore keep up the good work and ensure that the numbers don’t creep back up again in the future.”

Safety Cameras – Blessing or Blight?

By Tideswellman

Friend or foe?

Friend or foe?

The reason for writing this article is somewhat selfish.  I think I might be receiving a ticket tomorrow, my second in a year.  As I was pulling onto the A50 from the A500, there was a truck in the left hand lane indicating right…so rather than be crushed to death I put my foot down and got past him. But just as I pulled past him I spotted a camera-van on the slip road up to the Britannia. And as I looked down at the speedo, it read 60. We will wait and see what happens, but I’m not too hopeful.

There was little I could do apart from feel sick as a parrot. But it got me thinking  about these cameras.  What is the safety issue here? Whilst  I agree with having cameras in built up areas and accident blackspots, since it makes sense to protect people’s lives, especially those of children.

That said I honestly believe that the placement of some of these vans and rigid cameras is nothing more than a money-making exercise. What is the need to have a speed camera van facing the roundabout by the incinerator? Â Ã‚  In these tough times most of us can just about afford petrol, without having to fork out £60 in fines for being a few miles over the speed limit.

There is a website that informs you of where the mobile units are going to be which has recently been moved to http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/transport/cameras/. Make sure you take a look and don’t get caught out needlessly.

What do you think?  Is there any way we can get the locations standardised?  What would be a reasonable, legal way to challenge the positioning of these vans.  Have you been caught out by them?

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