Winter Driving Safety

Drink Driving – Stay safe this Christmas!

Our message is Stay Safe and Legal this Christmas, think about the consequences  and don’t take the risk of driving under the influence or traveling in a vehicle with a driver who has consumed alcohol.

Beware the morning after – You could be over the legal limit many hours after you last drink, even if it’s the ‘morning after’. Sleep, coffee and cold showers don’t help to sober up – time is the only way to get alcohol out of your system.

If your planning to drink alcohol, plan to get home without driving – Options include agreeing on a designated driver, saving a taxi number to your phone, or finding out about public transport routes and times before you go out.

Don’t offer an alcoholic drink to someone you know is planning to drive – Even if you’re not driving, you can help reduce the number of people who are killed and injured every year by drink driving.

Don’t accept a lift from a driver you know has drunk alcohol.

Lucy’s story

The heartbroken family of a teenage girl who died at the hands of a drink and drug driver are throwing their support behind a road safety campaign to keep people safe this Christmas.

Fun-loving student Lucy Pinder was tragically killed after enjoying a day out at Flamingo Land with friends.

Her family said, at that point, life changed for them, with happiness being a distant memory.

They are telling their story and backing Road Safety GB North East and the emergency services across the region as they launch their Christmas Drink/Drug Driving Campaign at Stockton Riverside College today (Nov 30) in the hope that people listen and avoid drink and drugs before getting behind the wheel.

Lucy, 19, from Thornaby, a hairdressing student at Stockton Riverside College, was one of three passengers in the high-powered Mercedes that was being driven at speed by uninsured and unlicensed David Manning in June 2016.

Not long after leaving the North Yorkshire theme park, Manning sped around a right-hand bend, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree and metal post. Lucy was not wearing a seatbelt and died at the scene.

“Our lives have changed dramatically,” said Lucy’s aunt Gemma Malcolm.

“We are quite strong people but there is only so much you can take and none of us feel happy anymore.

“We are not the same people we used to be. Lucy was always laughing and having fun – she lit up the room when she walked in – and not having her anymore is so painful. I don’t think we will ever get over losing her. I’m really angry. Why did he think it was ok to drive? Why does anyone think they can drive safely after drink and drugs?”

Manning was arrested at the crash scene and later admitted causing death by dangerous driving. He was a disqualified driver and was one-and-a-half times over the alcohol limit. He had also taken cocaine before getting into the car. A car park attendant at Flamingo Land told York Crown Court during the hearing that he had never seen anyone drive away so quickly.

He was jailed for six-and-a-half years and banned from driving for 13 years and three months.

“I just wish that I could turn the clock back and talk to Lucy one more time,” said Gemma.

“I would tell her to always wear a seatbelt and to never get in a car with someone who has been drinking or taking drugs. I know she was a long way from home, and she probably felt she had no choice, but if she had called we would have found another way to get her home.

“I hope people listen and realise that drink and drug driving can kill. Drivers may not kill themselves, but they could kill someone else. Could they live with that?”