‘Don’t make us pick up the pieces’ – Stay safe on the roads this Christmas
THE Welsh Ambulance Service is urging people to drive responsibly as the Christmas party season gets underway.
The Trust is reminding those heading for a night out not to get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs.
Paramedic Dermot O’Leary said:
“I see first-hand the devastation caused by drink and drug driving, and each life lost has a massive impact on those left behind.
“The empty chair at the table, the unopened gift under the tree and the memories of Christmas past are all poignant reminders when you have lost a loved one.
For those who have lost a loved one to drink or drug driving, it can be especially hard – whether they were the innocent victim in a collision or the person who chose to drive under the influence, their death was avoidable.
That knock on the door should be your friends and family coming to visit, not the emergency services delivering bad news.”
This year is likely to see the return of office parties and with this in mind, the service is reminding people of the practical measures they can take when enjoying a tipple.
Dermot, the Trust’s Operations manager in Conwy and Denbighshire, said:
“Following a difficult couple of years, people will rightly be looking to enjoy themselves this Christmas.
“Naturally it’s the time of year when you want to raise a glass, and that’s fine, but you need to consider your actions if you do choose to drink.
“Alcohol affects your reactions, so if you’re behind the wheel after you’ve had drugs or alcohol, then you’re going to be affected, even if you feel fine.
“Drinking tonight? Don’t drive tomorrow. Driving tomorrow? Then don’t drink tonight.
“Plan your journey home in advance, either by pre-booking a taxi or agreeing a designated driver.”
The Welsh Ambulance Service has seen a year-on-year reduction in road traffic collisions in the month of December (467 in Dec-18, 354 in Dec-19, 259 in Dec-20, 230 in Dec-21 and 232 in Dec-22) but says drivers should not get complacent.
Dermot said: “What appears to be a reduction in collisions over the festive period could probably be attributed to less traffic on the roads during the Covid-19 pandemic, so we shouldn’t rest on our laurels.
“In the run-up to Christmas, we’re especially concerned about drink and drug driving, but let’s not forget the other ‘fatal four’ – speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using your mobile phone while driving.
“Please drive safely and don’t make us pick up the pieces.”