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Police to step up breath tests and enforcement as pubs reopen

Mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt, speed, drink and drug-driving have been statistically linked to both a higher number and higher severity of collisions  Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt, speed, drink and drug-driving have been statistically linked to both a higher number and higher severity of collisions Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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Police will be stepping up roadside breath tests and enforcement around drink and drug-driving as restrictions ease on the opening of pubs from next week.

As traffic volumes start to return to pre-lockdown levels, Suffolk police reminded the public of measures to prevent becoming involved in a collision.

With traffic at its lowest since 1955 during lockdown, fewer vehicles on the road meant an inevitable fall in collisions – and police are urging people to carry out safety checks and abide by the rules to keep numbers down.

Collisions across Suffolk dropped by 58% from 613 to 260 during April and May, compared to the same two months of 2019.

There were just 74 reported injuries from crashes – down 66% from 219 in April and May 2019, according to Freedom of Information figures.

Separate council data suggested traffic was at 40% around Ipswich during the height of lockdown.

More: Revealed – Six Ipswich roads being earmarked for cycle improvements to aid easing of lockdown

More than 2,000 motorists were still caught speeding on Suffolk’s roads during a two-week police crackdown from May 25 to June 7.

A total of 2,100 drivers were recorded speeding over the campaign – 1,721 of which were caught by fixed or mobile cameras, while the rest were caught by officers on patrol.

More: More than 2,000 drivers clocked speeding in Suffolk during two weeks in lockdown

Gary Miller, of the roads and armed policing team (RAPT), said: “The fall in the number of road traffic collisions (RTCs) during lockdown is encouraging, although it is linked to the reduction in the volume of traffic on the roads of Suffolk.

“As traffic volumes start to return to pre-lockdown levels, we would like to remind the public around some of the things that they can do to prevent them becoming involved in an RTC.

“We often make reference to the ‘fatal four’ (mobile phone use, seatbelt, speed, drink and drug-driving). Misuse of the fatal four offences has been statistically linked to both a higher number and higher severity of RTCs.

“We would also encourage motorists to complete safety checks on their vehicles if they have not been used for any significant period of time, or get it checked professionally.

“With the announcement of licenced premises being opened again there will be an increased level of roadside testing and enforcement by officers in relation to drink and drug driving to ensure that our roads remain safe for everyone to use.”


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