North-East football clubs join Euro 2020 anti-drink drive campaign

The region’s biggest football clubs have joined a road safety campaign to boot drink and drug driving out of Euro 2020.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 9:44 am

Road Safety GB North East (RSGB NE) has been joined by police, fire and Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Sunderland football clubs to urge people not to get behind the wheel after drink or drugs during the football championships, which start on Friday June 11.

Drink and drug driving typically increases during major sporting tournaments as people gather to watch the games over drinks.

During Euro 2016, there was an increase in drink and drug-related driving injuries in the region.

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Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Andrew Bright, teaching assistant Christine Walpole, Head of Commercial at Middlesbrough FC Lee Fryett, Middlesbrough Council’s road safety officer Lynn Hepworth, and pupils from St Bernadette’s Primary School in Middlesbrough.
Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Andrew Bright, teaching assistant Christine Walpole, Head of Commercial at Middlesbrough FC Lee Fryett, Middlesbrough Council’s road safety officer Lynn Hepworth, and pupils from St Bernadette’s Primary School in Middlesbrough.

Between 2016 and 2020, there were 1,476 people injured in the north east in collisions involving a suspected impaired driver – with 343 seriously injured and 29 killed.

Peter Slater, from Road Safety GB NE, said: “We know people are looking forward to the Euros and have lots of plans to meet up with friends and family to watch the games.

“We don’t want to spoil the fun, but we’re asking people to be sensible. If you know you’re going to be drinking, plan your transport home beforehand, or be the designated driver. Ask yourself, could you live with it if you hurt or killed someone?

Middlesbrough FC midfielder Jonny Howson said: “I think we’re all really looking forward to Euro 2020, especially after the year we’ve had but, if you’re planning to drink, do the right thing and make sure that you don’t drive. Walk, get a taxi, or a lift, but don’t get behind the wheel.”