Christmas shoppers will be given a close-up view of the consequences of drink- and drug-driving when a mangled car goes on display at intu Derby this weekend.
The vehicle – a Ford Mondeo – was written off earlier this year when a drunk driver climbed behind the wheel and crashed it into a parked car and garden wall.
It will go on display – wrapped in a big bow – at the shopping centre on Saturday, December 1 and marks the start of a joint emergency services campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of drink- and drug-driving.
Saturday is also the start of Derbyshire Police's annual December drink- and drug-drive crackdown.
Throughout the month, police officers will be focusing on drivers who take to the roads when under the influence, which is a bigger risk due to the increased amount of social events for Christmas and New Year.
The police will also be naming every person who is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs throughout the month.
Police officers, firefighters, ambulance crews and Highways England staff will be on hand throughout the day to chat to shoppers about the story behind the car, the consequences drink- and drug- drivers face, and how even one drink can put motorists and their passengers in extreme danger.
We’re also relaunching our national award-winning Silent Night video during the event, which was released last year and received millions of views on social media.
The video – featuring children’s voices and toys recreating a fatal collision – will be on show throughout the day at intu Derby.
Inspector Justin Brown, who leads our roads policing unit, said: “The video we made last year had a lasting impact on many of the people who watched it, and it’s a great way of reigniting conversation about the dangers of driving under the influence.
“However people are still doing just that, and putting themselves and others at risk of serious injury or death just for the sake of having a drink.
“Our message is simple. If you are having even one drink, do not drive. If you take drugs, don’t drive. You don’t know alcohol or controlled substances will affect your ability to react to the road.
“And to those who still think they are above the law and are happy to take the risk, please remember: we are looking for you. We will find you, and we will put you before the courts. You’ll face higher insurance costs, and the possible loss of your licence, job, maybe your life and the lives of innocent people.
“Is it worth it?”
Saturday’s event, supported by the Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership, will feature giveaways including car stickers bearing the slogan ‘Don’t Get Wrecked’.
There will also be a prize draw to win a dashcam device, for people who fill in a quick-fire quiz about drink- and drug-driving stats.
John Cooke, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Prevention Station Manager, said: “Despite 30 years of education and enforcement, nationally over 70,000 people are caught drink and, or drug driving annually.
“Consider this alongside the fact that 4,621 people are killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions each year in the UK and there is the evidence that we still have a long way to go to get the message across and stop people taking the reckless decision to get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence of drink or drugs.
“By joining forces with our emergency service colleagues from police and ambulance this Christmas, we hope to get people to think about the consequences of drink and drug driving and help keep Derbyshire’s roads safe, ensuring everyone has a safe and happy Christmas.”
As well as talking about the consequences of drink-driving, the emergency services staff at intu Derby will be chatting to people about the impact attending serious and fatal collisions has on them.
The aim is to encourage people to think about how much devastation can be caused by drink- and drug-driving.
Tim Slater, Paramedic and General Manager for Derbyshire at EMAS said: “It's not just your life you're ruining by drink- driving, or getting behind the wheel when you’ve taken drugs.
“As well as the legal consequences you will have to face and the impact your decisions have on your life, it will have a life-changing impact for the innocent people you may injure or even kill, and their families.
“It will also have an emotional impact on the ambulance crews, emergency service personnel, hospital staff and bystanders involved in the incident. Please don’t do it.”
Matt Pickard, from the Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership, said he hoped the presence of the emergency services at intu Derby on the first weekend of December would spread the serious message far and wide.
He said: “While driving after drinking or taking drugs is always a bad idea, at this time of the year it’s especially important not to wreck it for yourself or others.
“This joint campaign is a fantastic way of showing people the very real consequences of taking that risk.”