43 arrests in Tayside festive drink-driving campaign

THE total number of people arrested for drink or drug driving for the four-week period of the Tayside Police festive campaign was 43 – following 11 more arrests in the final week.

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Wilson praised members of the public for their excellent support of the campaign.

“Throughout the four weeks, their contribution through calls to the police has resulted in a significant number of detections for drink or drug driving and I thank them for their efforts in making the roads of Tayside safer.

‘‘To those who are still willing to take the gamble with their own lives and the lives of other road users, I say that we will do all in our power to bring you to justice and remove you from our roads.’’

Of the other drivers detected, 16% were involved in road traffic collisions and 50% were caught as a result of being stopped by the police for a variety of reasons, such as their manner of driving, or minor vehicle defects.

Vehicles can be stopped for a variety of reasons, whether in response to a call from the public, the manner of driving, failure to wear a seat belt, or other road traffic offences.

Assistant Chief Constable Wilson stated she was disappointed that so many drivers still failed to comply with laws designed to keep them safe, whether by breaking the speed limits, failing to wear seat belts, or driving while talking on the mobile phone - with well over 1500 people being caught committing these range of offences over the last four weeks.

Throughout the campaign, Tayside Police continued to focus on other offences which affect road safety.

More than 570 drivers were reported for speeding, with an additional 678 being detected by the Tayside Safety Camera Partnership.

Some 245 people were detected not wearing a seat belt and 168 drivers for using a mobile phone whilst driving. In addition a total of 52 cars were seized for being driven without a driving licence or insurance.

The start of this year’s campaign coincided with an extension to the provisions of the vehicle forfeiture scheme.

This means that, in addition to the existing provisions, first time offenders who were found to be three or more times the limit (105 micrograms), or who refused any part of the station procedure are now liable to have their vehicle seized and ultimately forfeited.

During the four-week period, three vehicles have been seized by virtue of a warrant in Tayside and a further two have been forfeited.

Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, head of Road Policing in Tayside, said: “The message that we have promoted during this campaign has been consistent. If you need to drive a vehicle, do not take drink or drugs.

“We have found that there are still too many drivers who are prepared to take a chance, risking the lives of others as well as themselves. That is unacceptable.

“However, we have been reassured by the level of support that we have received from local communities. With their help we have made certain that 43 people who were prepared to take that chance will be held to account for their actions.

“This particular campaign has ended, but our efforts will continue throughout the year and I encourage the public to continue providing the same level of support.

“By doing so, we can place these reckless individuals before the court at the earliest opportunity.”

If any member of the public wishes to report a drink/drug driver thenthey should call Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222, or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.