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PFCC and Dep ensuring Cumbria’s roads are safe this Christmas

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), Peter McCall, and Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (DPFCC), Mike Johnson, went out on patrol with the Roads Policing Unit to ensure Cumbria’s roads are kept safe over the festive period.

DPFCC Mike Johnson went out in the Penrith area on the evening of Friday 15 December with Assistant Chief Constable Johnny Blackwell, Inspector Jack Stabler and PC Simon Brockbank. During the patrol, one car was pulled over for a faulty headlight and following a conversation with the driver, drug use was suspected. The motorist failed a drug swipe which showed cannabis was in their system. The driver was arrested and charged for drug driving. Following this arrest, the DPFCC, ACC and PC went back out in Penrith setting up two separate checkpoints in the town. Drivers were pulled over at random and supplied with breathalyser tests, tyre inspections and checking that their vehicles’ MOTs and taxes were up to date.

On Tuesday 19 December, PFCC Peter McCall went out on patrol in the Carlisle area with PC Philip Wilkinson and PC Callum Woodington. The aim of the patrol was to target the fatal four on local roads – drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding and distracted driving including the use of a mobile phone. During the patrol, and in the space of a couple of hours, one driver was issued with a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt, another was given a ticket for using their mobile phone and a motorist was arrested for drug driving.  Some may consider these to be minor matters but drug driving or inattention due to phone use is potentially fatal as is failure to use a lifesaving seat belt.

PFCC Peter McCall, said: “The Police patrol our roads year-round, but the festive period is an exceptionally busy time of year.

“The Police are doing everything in their power to keep the roads safe, but it is a community effort.

“Please do not drive in a dangerous manner, no one is above the law, and by breaking these laws you not only place your own life at risk but the lives of so many others.

“Furthermore, road users need to be aware that Cumbria police are very proactively policing our roads and they do and will deal with any and all crimes appropriately in order to keep our roads and neighbourhoods safe for everyone.

“Please drive sensibly and get home safely this Christmas.”

DPFCC Mike Johnson, said: “The checkpoints are a fantastic way for the Police to check the safety of the vehicles on our roads as well as check on the driver and how safe it is for them to drive.

“Many of the drivers that were pulled over as part of the checkpoint later in the evening were designated drivers, most of whom were picking up their partners from a Christmas night out, so I was really pleased to see that most partygoers had planned a safe way home.

“This is exactly what we want to see in the county – everyone taking responsibility for their actions and making sure that they aren’t risking the lives of others. I would urge anyone who is planning to go out over Christmas and New Year to plan ahead and have a designated driver or a taxi booked to get home.

“We all want to enjoy ourselves this time of year, but let’s all do it sensibly and keep Cumbria’s roads safe for everyone.”

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