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Fire service launches Christmas drink and drug drive campaign

Firefighters in West Sussex are warning about the risks and consequences of drink and drug driving over the festive period.

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West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has launched a driving under the influence (DUI) campaign as the Christmas party season gets underway.

The fire service is highlighting the experiences of its crews and members of other emergency services who have attended road traffic collisions.

In addition, an offender, currently serving a prison sentence for driving under the influence, has been speaking about his experience.

In 2017 West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service attended 43 road traffic collisions where the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

Among those who shared their experiences was Richard Poole, Crew Manager at Steyning Fire Station.

He said: “When you get a report about an RTC with persons trapped, the things that go through your mind are: How bad is the accident? What are their injuries going to be? Are they alive? And do you know them? We join to help people, not to pick up the pieces on the side of the road.”

A drink drive offender who killed two pedestrians has also shared his story in a bid to get people to think twice before getting behind the wheel under the influence.

The offender, who was filmed for the campaign, says: “I decided to drink, I got distracted and by the time I looked forward, I was over the stop line, and it was too late to react. There are two families out there that are suffering and it’s all because of my actions and my decision to drive that night. It’s something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. It all could have been avoided.”

If caught driving under the influence, you could face:

• A possible prison sentence
• A driving ban for a minimum of 12 months
• An unlimited fine
• A criminal record
• An increase in car insurance

Debbie Kennard, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “Please consider the consequences of driving under the influence, not just to yourself but to those around you. If you’re going out and are planning to have a drink, make sure you have alternative plans to get home. Don’t drink and drive.”

For more information or to watch the videos please visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire and select ‘Keeping safe campaigns’ and ‘Winter fire safety advice.’

Lifestyle

Help Crawley Council plan the future of your town

Crawley Borough Council has started work on a review of its local plan that will help to guide development in Crawley over 15 years from 2020-2035.

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This draft local plan review follows a review of the existing adopted local plan.

However, there is a greater emphasis on a number of policy areas, including health and wellbeing, higher environmental standards for new houses and housing to meet a wider range of needs.

Crawley Council say that it is important that local people, groups and organisations are able to put across their views and participate in the way that we plan the future of the town.

From now until 16 September they are asking people to let them know what they feel are the most important issues for Crawley that will need to be planned for over the next 15 years.

The staffed consultation events take place at:

  • County Mall on Saturday 27 July from 10.30am-4pm
  • Town Hall on Monday 29 July from 10.30am-4pm
  • K2 Crawley on Monday 5 August from 3-8pm
  • Crawley Library on Tuesday 6 August from 5-6pm
  • County Mall on Saturday 17 August from 10.30am-4pm
  • Town Hall on Monday 19 August from 10.30am-4pm
  • Crawley Library on Monday 9 September from 5-6.30pm.

Councillor Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

“Anyone interested in the future of Crawley should get involved in this consultation. 

“The local plan review is all about finding out what you want to see the town look like. We’ll be asking questions at events and online to get your feedback. Please take your chance to shape the future of your town.”
 

For more information visit crawley.gov.uk/crawley2035 or email forward.plans@crawley.gov.uk

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