From Monday, 3 December to Monday, 31 December, traffic officers from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC), with support from borough policing colleagues, will be checking for motorists who are driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs, posing a huge risk to themselves, passengers, other road users and pedestrians.
This is within the Met’s task of continuing to keep road users and pedestrians safe as it supports the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and European TISPOL Christmas Drink and Drug Driving Campaign.
Whenever a driver is stopped for a moving traffic offence, involved in any road traffic collision, or is suspected of having been drinking or taking drugs, a breath test will be administered or a sample of saliva will be taken in accordance with the Met’s policy.
Police are now better equipped than ever to detect and penalise those who take the risk to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Drug swipe kits have been rolled out across traffic officers, which allows them to detect a range of drugs from Class A to Class C. Officers will also be using the standard kits for alcohol testing.
Data provided by TfL shows that between April 2016 and February 2018, there were 269 fatal or serious casualties resulting from drink or drug drive collisions. Of the 269 incidents, 217 were due to drink driving (10 of which were fatal); whilst 52 were down to drug driving (five of which were fatal).
Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs will not be tolerated on London’s roads which is why the Met Police’s Roads and Transport Policing Command is launching this campaign over the seasonal period.
“This campaign is part of a wider national initiative with police forces around the UK increasing enforcement. It also supports Vision Zero which aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from London’s transport network by 2041, with drink and drug driving being a significant factor.
“Throughout this month of action, traffic officers will be carrying out enforcement to address any motoring offences, focusing on drink and drug driving. We also aim to raise awareness and help reduce these matters, reminding drivers that the police are on the lookout. We will be tweeting on @MPSRTPC giving regular updates.
“Motorists driving whilst intoxicated or under the influence of drugs are not in proper control of their vehicle increasing the very real risk of a serious collision and the devastating consequences this can have on the families and friends of the victims.
“The consequences for the driver caught driving or in charge of a vehicle whilst intoxicated or unit through drink or drugs are also severe. It could lead to a criminal record, a driving ban, a heavy fine, and impact their work and family. Therefore through education and enforcement we must remind all road users of the importance of keeping themselves and others safe when on London’s roads.
“This is a time of year people want to celebrate, have fun, and spend time with families and friends. Please do so safely, and don’t drink or take drugs and then drive. If you are having a night out, take a taxi, pre-book a private hire vehicle or use public transport so that everyone returns safely home to their friends and families.”
Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance and Policing at Transport for London (TfL), said:
“There is absolutely no reason to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs. It is extremely selfish and can have devastating consequences for drivers, other road users and their families. Our message is clear, we won’t tolerate any careless, illegal or dangerous behaviour and through our work with the police we will take robust action against those that do.”