Officers from Northumbria Police supporting this recent campaign.

With the World Cup in Qatar set to get underway from November 20, officers have joined Road Safety GB North East and blue-light partners in encouraging fans to enjoy the beautiful game- but avoid risking lives by getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence. 

From this weekend, officers from the Force’s Operation Dragoon team will be carrying out increased patrols on many of the region’s busiest roads and will take swift action against anyone who endangers the lives of others by driving impaired. 

Sergeant Glen Robson, of Northumbria Police Operation Dragoon team, said: “When you’ve been drinking or have taken drugs, your reaction time slows down and it’s more difficult to drive in a safe manner. 

“Road traffic collisions can tear families apart, and it’s crucial people are aware of the potentially devastating and irreversible consequences of driving over the limit. That’s why we’re proud to support this campaign and we will be patrolling over the region’s roads to try and make sure they are as safe as possible for all users”. 

Peter Slater, Chair of Road Safety GB NE, said statistics showed that instances of drink and drug driving have typically increased during major sporting tournaments, raising the likelihood of road casualties and deaths. 

During the World Cup of 2018 and Euro 2020, there was an increase in drink and drug-driving injuries both on the day and the day after England’s matches, with casualties rising from 10 per cent to as much as 20 per cent of all road injuries.

He said: “Go out and have a great time but leave your car keys at home if you’re planning to drink; don’t even be tempted to have one drink- it can easily lead to more. Either be the designated driver and stick to soft drinks or plan to transport home beforehand”.

While the number of road casualties in the region has reduced over a five-year period from 237 in 2017 to 198 in 2021, the number killed or seriously injured has remained at around the same number, with 56 in 2021 compared to 57 in 2017. 

The campaign was also supported by children from Harlow Green Primary School in Gateshead. The Headteacher of Harlow Green Primary School, Mustafaa Malik said: “Although we want people to enjoy themselves over the upcoming World Cup and festive period, it is important for our community to do so safely

“Having our children understand from an early age that these two things don’t mix is important and hopefully they can be part of the essential message that will save lives”

For more information about Road Safety GB North East, go to www.lookoutroadsafety.co.uk

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