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Local Football Celebrity Welcomes Winter Safe Journey Partnership

Issued: 3 Nov 2010

It’s that time of year again as the winter months fast approach, Northern Constabulary and Grampian Police have teamed up with Diageo to ensure drivers in the North and North-East are geared up, running the third winter safety awareness campaign across the two force areas.

The 'Winter Safe Journey' launch day, being held in both Inverness and Aberdeen, has seen well known football celebrities coming along to take advantage of the free winter car checks that The AA are offering every Saturday across the month of November at four different locations within the two force areas. These will be available between 0900-1200 hours at the following locations:

· 06 Nov – Tesco, Danestone, Aberdeen

· 13 Nov – Tesco, Inverness (on A96),

· 20 Nov – Tesco, Elgin

· 27 Nov – Tesco, Dingwall

MFR and Northsound street teams will be on hand at each of the events to distribute goodie bags with free winter car products and safety advice.

Commencing today and running until the end of January 2011, the ‘Winter Safe Journey’ campaign on MFR and Northsound will highlight the consequences of drink driving, tips to prepare your vehicle for winter as well as encouraging responsible driver behaviour.

Iain Campbell, Diageo General Manager Speyside said: “The winter road safety campaign forms part of Diageo's ongoing commitment to encourage people to embrace a responsible attitude towards safe driving and being a safe road user.

"We are delighted to continue our support for the Winter Safe Journey campaign and hope that during the weeks ahead we will see a reduction in the number of incidents on our roads, making them safer for other road users, pedestrians and cyclists and for the wider community as a whole."

Last year saw the North-East and Highlands of Scotland face one of the longest spells of severe weather in many years and those involved in the partnership hope that this will encourage people to prepare for the harsher conditions ahead.

Douglas Barron of the AA commented: "Last winter reinforced the fact that drivers can never be complacent during the winter months. Always make sure you and your car are prepared for any eventuality, so carry the winter essentials in your boot, check your car regularly, and only ever drive as fast as conditions allow.

"We are pleased to support this campaign to help motorists across Grampian and the Highlands and Islands have a safe winter on the roads."

One aspect in particular that the partnership hopes to improve on is encouraging people to plan their transport ahead of festive nights out.

Northern Constabulary’s Road Safety Officer, Laura Fisher said: “The campaign will be focussing on engaging with the individual driver and the decisions they make, which could have long term consequences.

“A high number of drink drivers are reported to us from concerned members of the public but more notably a large number come through friends and family.

"What drivers still need to remember is that alcohol can still be in your system the next day so taking a simple measure such as not driving the morning after a night out can make all the difference to yours and others safety.

“I must warn that a number of those people arrested will spend time locked up until the next available court date which could be three nights if a driver was detected on a Friday evening.

“We are once again happy to be linking in with Grampian Police and Diageo to get the message across for people to simple steps to ensure they have safe journeys this winter.”

Manager for Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club, Terry Butcher praised the campaign: "I think car safety will still be at the forefront of everyone's minds after last winter, but we want to encourage all the fans who are coming along to support the team to stay safe and make sure they get safely to and from the games.

"I am happy to be able to come along today and would encourage all local people to take advantage of the free car check when it is in the area."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme