Purple ribbon launch for Hampshire drink drive campaign
Police officers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be wearing a purple ribbon throughout December in memory of those who have died as a result of drink and drug driving.
Traffic officers from the Roads Policing Unit have added the ribbon to their uniforms from today as the Hampshire force launches its annual Christmas drink drive campaign.
Officers are hoping the ribbons will act as a reminder to those they speak to throughout December of the risks and dangers of drinking or taking drugs and getting behind the wheel.
Between January and August this year six people have been killed and 32 seriously injured in the Hampshire and Thames Valley police areas in collisions where alcohol was a factor.
And this year up to September, 15,508 people had been breath tested with 1,569 people found to be above the limit.
This year, the joint force campaign is called “Is It Worth The Risk?” and focuses largely on the devastating consequences of drink and drug impaired driving.
The force will be telling the story of 10-year-old Evey Staley who died when her family’s car was hit by a driver who was two-and-a-half times the drink/drive limit and had been smoking cannabis.
The Staley family’s car, which was decimated in the collision which killed Evey, will be used in a display at venues across Hampshire.
The colour of the ribbon worn by officers, staff and emergency service workers supporting the campaign was chosen because purple was Evey’s favourite colour.
The purple ribbon will be appearing across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – on buses in Southampton and the Isle of Wight, bus stops, at both Red Funnel and Wightlink ferry terminals, on taxi seats and petrol nozzles across the area.
Members of the public will once again be urged to “shop a drink driver” by texting the anonymous text service on 80999.
Inspector Andy Storey, leading the campaign in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said: “People know our message, everyone knows not to drink and drive – and yet still people do it.
“We want to make it socially unacceptable – that is why we are focusing on the ultimate consequence. The bottom line is that people die as a result of drinking and driving, just one death is too many.
“Our message is don’t drink and drive, full stop. But, for those that still choose to risk it, we are pouring extra resources into policing our roads this Christmas. We will be looking out for you, we will arrest you and you will lose your licence.
“We want people to remember, too, that you don’t have to feel drunk to be impaired. You don’t have to take illegal drugs to be unfit to drive. We’re asking people to be honest with themselves – think really hard. Have you had a drink? Do you really think you’re fit to drive? How do you really know? You could lose your licence, you could lose your job, you could injure or kill a child or yourself. We aim to get everyone to ask themselves: is it worth the risk?
“Along with my colleagues in roads policing and other teams across the two force areas, I will be very proud to wear the purple ribbon this Christmas.
“It is right that we remember all those who have died as the result of drink and drug driving. We hope that members of the public who see the ribbon take a moment to stop and think about what it means.
“Drinking or taking drugs and driving devastates lives. The only safe way is not to drink at all when driving, get a taxi, get a lift, arrange a designated driver and take turns.
“Is it worth the risk? The answer is absolutely not.”