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Stay Safe this Easter

Road safety and the Countryside Code.

I know that many residents and visitors will be getting in their cars or onto their motorbikes to visit friends and family over Easter or maybe just to head out and enjoy our glorious coastline and countryside - whatever the reason, I just wanted to remind you to keep ‘Dorset Road Safe’.

I know many of you have planned a much-needed getaway, but it only takes one poor decision for your trip to end in disaster for you, your family or other road users.

In February, I went out on Op Decker Dorset Polices’ mobile phone road safety campaign run in partnership with Yellow Buses as part of national mobile phone enforcement week.

The operation saw a double decker bus travel around Bournemouth and Poole, with police officers on board detecting mobile phone/distraction offences. As part of the operation, there were patrols intercepting vehicles and dealing with the offences.  

Within the first hour, officers saw ten drivers using their mobile phones, two of which had no insurance.

Enforcement operations like Op Decker are essential if we are to stop the accidents that are caused by driving whilst using a mobile phone. The cost to those caught doing so may well be financial - but to someone involved in an accident caused by a driver using a mobile phone; it may well be life-changing.

I must take a moment to mention drink/ drug driving. Driving after taking drugs can be dangerous and, along with drink driving, this has been identified as one of the ‘fatal five’ factors behind road traffic collisions and the resulting serious injuries and fatalities.

While there has long been an impetus to highlight the risks associated with alcohol and driving, in recent years drug driving has become more prevalent.

Like alcohol, drugs can impair an individual’s ability to drive safely and it is illegal to drive if you are unfit to do so through the use of drugs – either legal or illegal. It is also an offence to drive with certain levels of illegal drugs in your blood even where this may not affect driving behaviour.

Remember - every decision you make behind the wheel counts and one life lost is too many.

If you do venture into Dorset’s countryside, then please remember to keep to the ‘Countryside Code’.

A few weeks ago, I was out and about with the Dorset Police Rural Crime Team talking with residents and visitors to our county about keeping dogs on leads, especially when close to livestock.

The protection of livestock really is an issue that farmers are very concerned about and have been talking to me about ever since I started campaigning to become the Police and Crime Commissioner and so I am determined to raise awareness of this problem locally and work alongside Rural Crime Team in the effort to prevent attacks taking place.

If you are staying in over Easter and need some entertainment ideas; why not tune into the Rural Crime Team podcasts – Country Cast. The series offers advice on how you can support the police in protecting our beautiful countryside, as well as providing you with some top tips on preventing rural crime.

Whatever your plans for the Easter weekend – I hope the sun shines for you.


David Sidwick

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner


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