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Councils United to Stop the Drink Drivers
Thursday 10th December, 2009

Councils United to Stop the Drink Drivers
The smashed car, which will be touring the two boroughs next week. Cllrs David Molyneux and Ismail Ibrahim are with the mascots of the two local football teams, also PC Peter Cunningham of the road policing unit, which covers both Wigan and Bolton council areas

This year’s local Christmas road safety campaign has just doubled in size.

Politicians, officials, the police from both Wigan and Bolton and the two towns’ football mascots have come together to drive home the message that drinking and driving do not mix.

Deputy Leader of Wigan Council, Cllr David Molyneux leads on road safety issues in the borough. His opposite number in Bolton, Cllr Ismail Ibrahim, joined him in sending a clear message to motorists: “Drinking and driving wrecks lives”.

Road safety experts from both councils have united their campaigns together around a very visible message. A smashed car, the result of a driver unable to control their vehicle after drinking, will be on show around the streets of Bolton and Wigan during the holiday season.

Cllr Molyneux said: “The drink drive message is familiar to the law abiding majority - but being confronted with the consequences of a crash should really make people think again about driving after drinking any amount of alcohol. Hopefully this vehicle will serve as a timely reminder in the run up to Christmas that the only way to be safe is to not drink and drive. There is no safe limit and even if you’re within the legal limit your driving could still be impaired.”

In the last three years, 429 vehicle collisions in Wigan and Bolton involved road users impaired by alcohol.

The smashed car, and its accompanying message, will be on show at the Reebox for the Bolton v Manchester City match on Saturday 12th. During the following week, motorists in Wigan can see the car on a low loader, with the Wigan v Bolton match on the 21st seeing the car at the DW Stadium. The car will be seen around Bolton that week as well.

Road safety expert Julie Dagnall from Wigan Council adds: “Our recent education programmes have had a strong effect on both the younger and the older age groups. We work closely with people representing drivers, cyclists and disabled road users on the borough’s road safety forum. But, there’s a significant group – mainly young males – who are hard to reach. Taking the message on the road around our boroughs, and to major venues like the Reebox and DW Stadia, will serve as a timely reminder.”

Inspector Brian Orr, from Greater Manchester Police’s Road Policing Unit, which is also supporting the campaign, said: “Officers from the unit will be out and about in force in the Wigan and Bolton areas. Rest assured that if you drink and drive over the Christmas period, there is a very high possibility that you will be stopped by the Police and dealt with appropriately.”

And this month, council road safety experts and the NHS alcohol awareness officer will be visiting all the colleges taking the message directly to the students.

Wigan Council has also worked with colleagues from St Helens on similar campaigns. At the Haydock Park Truckfest this summer, a joint road safety display, also featuring a smashed car, drew crowds and comments from visitors to the major Bank Holiday event.

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