DON’T be a dead drunk pedestrian – that’s the stark warning from police to revellers who may be putting themselves at risk this festive period.
From 2011-2013 in the Durham force area, investigations into pedestrians who died in road traffic collisions found the judgement of eight victims to be officially ‘impaired by alcohol’.
A further 63 were injured in the same period when they too were affected by drink.
This afternoon, Friday 12th Dec officers will be based in Durham’s Market Place highlighting the issue and asking party-goers to take some sensible precautions.
The event will see casualty reduction officers and traffic crews from the joint Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU) interacting with Christmas shoppers, as well as any party-goers making an early start to the weekend to get across key safety messages.
They will be joined by staff from Durham Constabulary’s Alcohol Harm Reduction Unit, the award-winning ‘Best Bar None’ scheme (run jointly by police and Durham County Council) and both the ambulance and fire services.
The campaign, promoted on Twitter as #deaddrunk has been put together with backing from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s community safety fund.
And as part of the public awareness event, one eye-catching display will see Joanne Brenkley, from the fire and rescue service’s community safety team made up as a drunken pedestrian and prone beneath the wheels of a car parked in the Market Place.
The vehicle has also been ‘distressed’ to make it seem as though it has been involved in a collision.
Promotional items such as wallets and keyrings bearing the #deaddrunk logo (attached) will be handed out and many of the city’s bars are supporting the campaign by agreeing to use beer mats and advertising material in their premises.
Taxi companies, doorstaff, street pastors and local beat officers will be reinforcing the safety message throughout this evening and on subsequent nights in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.
And both Arriva and Go North East are carrying promotional material on their buses to support the initiative.
Members of the media are invited to the Market Place between 2.45pm – 3.30pm, available for interview will be PCC Ron Hogg and Chief Insp Alison Jackson, from the CDSOU. There will be a range of photo/filming opportunities including the ‘dead drunk pedestrian’.
Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron HOGG said; “This innovative campaign was paid for through my Community Safety Fund and is a scheme I am pleased to be part of.
“The festive season can be a great opportunity to relax, have fun and enjoy time with family and friends. However, I urge people to be aware of their alcohol limits and look out for each other, and ensure they make plans to get home safely.”
Chief Insp Alison JACKSON said; “As far as we can tell, this is the first time any police force in the UK has devised a campaign specifically aimed at drunken pedestrians rather than drivers.
“Over the festive period many people will be going out on the town and having perhaps one drink too many. But by taking a few simple precautions, such as pre-planning their journey home by arranging a lift or booking a taxi they can greatly cut down the risk to themselves on the way home.”
The campaign can be followed on the Twitter feed for the casualty reduction unit, @SaferJourney.
Recent research carried out on behalf of Road Safety GB, found that as a proportion of all casualties, the number of adults injured while walking continues to rise year on year.
The analysis found that adult pedestrians were most at risk at weekends between 6pm and 11pm, and when they are in the 16-34 years age range. Geographically, the north east along with London, Wales and Scotland was one of the hotspots for adult pedestrian collisions.
Posted on Friday 12th December 2014