The bereaved family of a Leeds teenager killed by a drink driver is begging motorists to steer clear of alcohol and drugs this Christmas – as West Yorkshire Police launches an annual campaign.
Sixteen-year-old Jamie Still, from Otley, was hit by Max McRae’s Vauxhall Corsa in Otley 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 collided with the teenager. He was jailed for four years last year.
Jamie’s mum, Karen Strong, sister Rebecca Still, 14, and grandparents Peter and Celia Strong are urging drivers to avoid drinking at all before getting behind the wheel.
Karen 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.”
Their plea coincides with West Yorkshire Police’s annual campaign targeting drink drivers over Christmas and new year.
Figures given to the YEP show in December last year and January this year, officers stopped 2,650 drivers for breath tests and arrested 475 people for either a positive test or for failing to provide a sample.
This year police will be focusing on crash hotspots – as well as people who might still be over the limit the morning after a night’s drinking.
Chief Insp Neil Hunter, head of roads policing, said: “There may be a misconception that it is possible to easily sleep off the effects of drinking the previous night before driving again.
“A driver’s impaired ability to drive after drinking increases the likelihood of them being involved in a collision at any time of the day.
“The human cost inflicted by drink drivers on their victims or their families can be life-changing.”