OFFICERS from the Safer Ryedale Partnership and 95 Alive have been promoting safer winter driving and highlighting the dangers of mixing alcohol and drugs with driving.

Working with North Yorkshire Police, drivers who were committing a moving traffic offence were stopped and breathalysed with about 50 motorists stopped at locations in Malton and Pickering either for having defective lights or exceeding the speed limit.

Andrew Santon, road safety officer for Ryedale, said: “These events have proved very successful as we were talking to drivers committing offences.

“We were surprised at just how many vehicles had lights that were not working properly. I’m sure drivers just don’t check their vehicles regularly.”

Police officers gave advice to those stopped and one driver was given a VRN notice because his van had bald tyres, broken rear lights and a broken mirror.

Although only one driver was found to have alcohol in his system, everybody was given advice as to how to stay safe on the road.

Mr Santon said: “The message is simple, if you’re going to drive, don’t drink and if you’re going to drink, don’t drive, as even one drink can affect your ability to drive safely. Only time will get rid of the alcohol in your system so be very careful about driving in the morning after you’ve been drinking.”

Mark Naylor, chairman of the Road Safety Task Group, said events of this nature were absolutely key to promoting road safety in the community.

“Working together as a partnership makes it an educational experience for drivers who are spoken to at the side of the road,” he said.

“This engagement and positive experience will hopefully be passed on to family, friends and work colleagues spreading the word even further.”

Mr Naylor said that as the harsh winter weather had not yet arrived, more work was planned to encourage winter vehicle checks.

“Simply cleaning lights to make your vehicle visible is always worthwhile and check the weather and road traffic updates prior to travelling,” he added.