RMG/CWU Road Safety Campaign – ‘Alcohol and Drugs While Driving & The Morning After Effect’ – “Be Aware” W/C Monday 21 January 2019
Background and Importance of this Road Safety Communications Campaign:
The Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show that ‘morning after’ drink driving offences now account for 20% of all drink-driving offences. The figures suggest that the basic warnings concerning drink-driving aren’t always being heeded. People think that going to bed is the same as pressing a reset button but it’s not! Research from ‘Brake’ the road safety charity and the ‘Think!’ anti-drink-driving campaign supports this and report that around 5500 people are failing breath tests between 6am and midday every year.
The January RMG/CWU Road Safety Campaign is about raising awareness of the serious impairing effects of alcohol and drugs on drivers, covering the morning after effects, amounts of alcohol guidance and effects of drugs (including over the counter non-prescription medications).
Alcohol and drugs seriously impair the ability to drive and the effects can continue into the morning after and this could lead to early morning drivers being especially at risk of collisions and injuries to themselves, colleagues or members of the public as well as prosecution with fines and jail sentences.
All Royal Mail Drivers have a legal responsibility to drive safely and minimise risk to themselves and the public. As part of the January business-wide Road Safety Campaign and focus on road safety, the aim is raising awareness of the serious impairing effects of alcohol and drugs on drivers, covering the morning after affects, amounts of alcohol guidance and effects of drugs (including over the counter). A series of Road Safety messages will be communicated with drivers during week commencing 21 January on Alcohol and Drugs while Driving.
Alcohol and the Morning After Effect:
Early morning drivers are especially vulnerable to being over the legal limits the morning after, risking collisions and their own safety and that of other road users and pedestrians e.g. injuries to themselves, colleagues or members of the public. So it’s wise not to drink the night before an early start.
Many drink drivers are caught the morning after they have been drinking as they don’t realise that it takes several hours for alcohol to disappear from the body and someone who was drinking late the previous evening, could easily still be over the limit on their way to work the next morning.
Many people drive vehicles the morning after they have consumed alcohol, believing that they are perfectly capable of driving in a safe and legal manner but this is not always the case.
Drugs (including prescribed and over the counter medicines):
It goes without saying that people should never drive if they’ve taken illegal drugs; Royal Mail Group has a zero-tolerance policy on drug abuse.
Many prescription and over-the-counter medications impair the ability to drive safely, for instance causing drowsiness, affecting reaction times, coordination, concentration or vision. These include some hay fever treatments, decongestants and cough medicines. If unsure, drivers should seek advice from either their G.P. Surgery or a Pharmacist.
A new drug drive law came into force in England and Wales in March 2015 and made it an offence to drive, attempt to drive, or be in charge of a motor vehicle with certain drugs in the body above a specified limit. This applies to illegal drugs, prescribed medicines and over-the-counter medicines.
Any staff member (Royal Mail, Parcelforce, RMSS, RMPFS, Engineering, Fleet etc.) having problems with alcohol or drugs can speak to their manager or they can ring the Royal Mail Group Feeling First Class helpline 0800 6888 777. Counselling, including referral to external sources for support, is available through this service to all employees.
CWU ASR Involvement:
ASR’s are to be fully involved and consulted on joint RSW activities.
ASR Activity Plan and Checklist:
By carrying out the following activities during w/c 21 January 2019, ASRs can help to raise the profile of Road Safety and keep our driver members safe.
Agree with your Operational Managers, which units you will jointly support during this Road Safety Campaign, and:
- Assist the Front Line Manager in delivering the WTLL
- Carry out Safety Inspections and Spot Checks, speaking to drivers and raising their awareness of the safety and personal risks.
Use the Road Safety Campaign materials to talk to drivers about alcohol and drugs use while driving.
- Have they received the WTLL briefing on Alcohol & Drugs while Driving?
- Have they seen the poster and animation linked to this campaign?
- Are they aware of the morning after effects of alcohol and drugs?
- Have they checked that any prescribed or over the counter medicines can be taken when driving?
Ask Front Line Managers:
- What activities have they completed for the Alcohol & Drugs while Driving campaign?
- Have they made all drivers aware of the actions they need to take?
- Have they delivered the WTLL, shown the animation and displayed the poster?
The animation will be available on “On Demand” and on the link which is on the Managers’ Checklist (attached). This will become live late on Friday 18 January 2019.
ASR full involvement and support would be much appreciated by both Royal Mail Group (Royal Mail, Parcelforce, RMSS, RMPFS, Engineering, Fleet) and CWU/HQ.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer