Gloucestershire Police advise Cheltenham uni students to plan their journey home from a night out
3:28pm Friday 27th September 2013 in News
IF YOU'RE heading out into Cheltenham this weekend to celebrate Fresher’s week or the pay day weekend then Gloucestershire Police is asking you to think now about how you’re getting home.
For the last two weeks, to coincide with the start of the University term for Freshers, Cheltenham Police has been carrying out a positive socialising initiative aimed at raising awareness of personal safety so that people can enjoy Cheltenham’s parks, streets, home life and nightlife without fear.
As part of the campaign a road safety operation will be taking place in the town tonight encouraging people to think about the journey home – be it by foot, car, taxi or bus.
Chief Inspector of the Cheltenham area, Steve Gillett, said: "After you’ve had a few to drink you may not be thinking sensibly about how you’re going to get back home. What we’re asking is for you to plan ahead and to look after your friends.
“We know this seems like common sense, but as most of us know after seeing photos from a night out, common sense often goes out of the window after a few drinks.”
From the start of the night additional high visibility patrols will be carried out by police officers to talk to those out socialising before the drinks have been downed to remind them about personal safety but also to think about whether they have to drive in the morning.
Inspector for roads policing in the county, Jason Keates, said: “Even a very small amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely. The best advice is not to drink at all if you are driving.
“You should also avoid heavy drinking if you are driving the following day, many people don’t realise just how long alcohol takes to leave your system, leaving many at risk of drink driving the morning after.”
Officers will also be targeting offences committed by those driving in the town tonight such as speeding, driving whilst on their mobile phones and driving without a seatbelt.
Any drivers caught will be given the opportunity to complete a Road Safety Educational Package, designed by Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership, instead of receiving a fixed penalty notice.
A fire crew from the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will also be in the town centre to hand out bottled water and safety advice to pedestrians.
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “We take road safety very seriously in Gloucestershire and one of our key roles as a partnership is to make sure that we engage with everyone in the community.
“This in no way replaces the hard work that the Road Safety Partnership is already doing to tackle safe driving in the county.
"Last year, Gloucestershire recorded the lowest ever number of road collisions in its history and the lowest number of people hurt on our roads, but this is a perfect example of the way in which the county’s agencies can work together to improve even further.”
“The risk to your own personal safety increases dramatically if you’ve had a few to drink, including road safety as a pedestrian or passenger” added Chief Inspector Gillett.
“Whilst we do have this specific operation tonight there are always people out in the town, such as our police officers, the street pastors and door staff who are there to help you. We’d encourage you to listen to them when they offer you advice.
“We want people to be and feel safe when out and about in Cheltenham, to enjoy all the town has to offer and to work with us to keep it a place they want to go out.”