Tragic family’s plea as police to target festive drink-drivers

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THE family of a teenager killed by a drink-driver are begging motorists to steer clear of alcohol and drugs this Christmas as police forces across the region launch their annual campaigns.

Jamie Still, 16, from Otley, was hit by Max McRae’s Vauxhall Corsa in the town on New Year’s Eve, 2010.

McRae, 21, of Warren Lane, Arthington, Leeds, was almost twice the drink-drive limit when he mounted the kerb and struck the teenager. He was jailed for four years last year.

Jamie’s mother Karen Strong said: “Everyone thinks their children are special, but Jamie really was. He was gentle and kind, and as perfect a son as any mum could hope for.

“It’s tragic that he died, but even more tragic that his death was caused by such pointless stupidity as drinking and driving.

“We can’t get Jamie back, but we can help to spread the message about drink-driving. You need your full senses to drive safely. Please, this Christmas and New Year, don’t drive after drinking any alcohol, or having any drugs.”

Meanwhile one of Yorkshire’s new police and crime commissioners has backed a campaign urging people to report anyone suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Humberside Police Commissioner Matthew Grove said he gave his “absolute backing” to Crimestoppers, which is inviting anonymous tip-offs about suspected offenders.

A hard-hitting TV commercial is spearheading the launch of the Government’s Christmas drink-drive campaign.

Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: “Drivers should be in no doubt that if they get behind the wheel after drinking this Christmas, they risk losing their licence as well as facing a fine and even a prison sentence.

“Christmas should be a time for a celebration not a night in the cells. That is why our TV advert reminds drivers of the consequences of a drink-drive conviction.

“Last year 280 people were killed in accidents where the driver was over the limit. Our message is clear: Do not let a selfish decision ruin your life or someone else’s.”

South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership launches its campaign today.