Haunting image warns drivers to be safe this Christmas


A WRECKED car with a red bow and the unsettling slogan ‘worst Christmas present’ will be used by firefighters this festive season to warn people about the dangers of drink driving.

Crew commander at Worthing Fire station, Gavin McCourty, came up with the haunting image, along with his colleague Gavin Ross, to send out a strong message to drivers.

Mr McCourty said: “At Christmas people have a lot more parties and celebrations. Unfortunately this is when we see a rise in drink related collisions.

“This is part of a multi-agency seasonal campaign to raise awareness of the dangers and to reduce the risk of injury or harm.”

Last year the crew made it look as though a car had crashed into the fire station, this year they are using a side impact into a tree.

“We try different ways to make it eye-catching each year to get the message across and ideas all come from the stations firefighters,” he said.

The car will be left on display, close to the fire station that is located in Ardsheal Road, for the next four weeks as a brutal reminder to drivers.

It will also be flood lit so drivers will see it at night when they are attending Christmas parties or going to the pub.

He said: “It has to be an on-going message, we can’t solve the problem of drink driving with just a one-off campaign, and there are thousands of newly qualified drivers and people moving into our area each year so the message has to be an on-going one.”

Mr McCourty said it is important that people arrange a lift, book a taxi or have somewhere to stay overnight before going out to see family and friends this holiday season to avoid an accident.

“There is no hard and fast rule so driving the next day can also be a problem,” he added.

Mr McCourt recalled one incident over the Christmas period where two men were involved in a collision.

He said: “The two lads were overheard saying ‘let’s not say we have just come from the pub’ when their demeanour and slurred speech spoke volumes.”

Drive safe this Christmas.