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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 132

Date:- 03 January 200

Your news... Your words...

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First Course of 2004

ARE you going to make a new year's resolution to improve your driving and live up to the Institute of Advanced Motorists motto of "Skill with responsibility".

We run three courses a year starting in January, May and September. They all start with a meeting in the Royal Clifton hotel in Southport at 8pm, thereafter individual car runs.

You can ring Ray Woods now to place your name on the list for the first course of 2004 starting 12 January. Find out how safe your driving is and if you have good observational skills. "Only a fool breaks the two second rule."  Do you know what it means? If not come along and find out how this and other rules can assist you. If January is not convenient book for a later course. Ray Woods 010704 538595 (daytime phone) or fax.

The way you drive matters if you want to achieve Safety, Economy and Performance, whatever class of vehicle you drive. Having passed the Advanced test, statistics show that your chances of having an accident are cut by two thirds.

The 31 Monday of every month is the regular meeting nights. The talk on January 10 is about the coastline and squirrels by Andrew Brockbank from the National Trust in Formby

Motorcyclists meet weekly at the Richmond Hotel, Scarisbrick New Road, Southport. If you have a bike and fancy joining them, give Alan a ring. Trips vary in length and Scotland and the Isle of Man are visited annually. Motorcycle information can be obtained from Alan Filson 01704 579874


ON Wednesday 14 January 2004 at 7.45pm Dr. Emma Roberts will be giving a talk about "Sculpture in the early 20th Century, The Drive Towards Abstraction" Non - Members of the Friends welcome. £2.00 admission Atkinson Art Gallery, Lord Street, Southport.


Also at the Atkinson Art Galler on Friday 30 January at 12:30 when Jo Jones will give a talk about "ALLEGRO STREPITOSO by Carel Weight"


OVER THE next week we will be putting on our online guide to events across Merseyside and the North Wet for 2004.   If you have a event you want us to list and/or cover, let us know about it now.  You can add at any time to the list by emailing us your event details.  our email is as follows:- 

Good luck for 2004 and remember this is your news, so keep us posted.

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SEVEN OUT of ten young adults in Merseyside say they have never driven after drinking, according to a new survey for motoring organisation RAC and responsible drinking campaigners, The Portman Group, released over the festive weeks.

However, almost 30% who said they had got behind the wheel after a drink are still coming up with familiar excuses.

These included "I've only had a couple", "I'm fine to drive", "Everyone does it", and "I won't get stopped". Provisional figures from the Department of Transport show that nationally, 560 people were killed last year in accidents in which a driver was over the legal limit.

Commenting on the survey results, Portman Group Chief Executive, Jean Coussins, said:- "These figures show that while many young people have got the message that drinking and driving never mix, sadly we still have work to do to beat the hard core. The old excuses just don't wash; everyone needs to continue to push the only safe message, which is, "Don't drink and drive". Nominating a designated non-drinking driver is a simple solution which allows groups of friends to go out for an evening, safe in the knowledge that the driver taking them home won't have had a drink."

RAC spokesperson Rebecca Bell commented:- "As the old advertising slogan says, drink-drive costs lives. Unfortunately the truth is that the hard-core of offenders will wreak misery this festive season by killing and injuring others on the roads. RAC estimates that there are 200,000 regular drink drivers on our roads. We need more police enforcement to crack down on those who continue to break the law in this most dangerous of ways."

The survey findings come the week after the government's 'anti drink drive' television advertising campaign hit the small screens over the Christmas season. "What will it take to stop you drink driving? Think!" and was aimed particularly at 17 - 29 year old men who figure in many casualties and positive breath tests.

The RAC/Portman Group survey shows that 55% of motorists in Merseyside believe that this type of hard hitting advertising campaign does influence them into not drinking and driving, though an alarming 18% of respondents commented that they had not noticed any campaigns running recently.

The Portman Group's own campaign against drink driving, "I'll be DES, the designated non-drinking driver" that ran in over 12,000 pubs over Christmas 2003, a record number for this long running campaign. Some of the pubs were in Southport also had a good impact over the festive season after running this campaign.  Jean Coussins continued:- "There can be nobody left in Merseyside who is unaware of the risks of drinking and driving. We need the government to keep up the public campaigning and to continue to back this up with strict enforcement of the law, all year round. For most people who never drink and drive, the message has hit home. We need to make sure the reckless minority are challenged to make our roads and our lives as safe as possible."

Merseyside Chief Inspector Lol O'Donnell said:- "Drivers must take responsibility not to drink and drive. At best it is illegal and you can lose your licence; at worse you are putting the lives of your passengers, yourself and other road users in danger." Make a new years resolution.... Do Not Drink Drive.

Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.