A woman who lost her husband in a collision caused by a drink-driver has urged people not to be the person responsible for destroying a family.
Mark Osborne, 48, was killed when his motorbike was clipped by a swerving van on the A60, near Arnold, in July last year.
The driver, who was over the drink-drive limit, is spending this Christmas in prison for causing the tragedy – but that is little comfort to his widow Clair Osborne and their two children.
For them, every Christmas will never be the same.
Clair, of Mansfield Woodhouse, is now supporting a new campaign launched by Nottinghamshire Police to deter people from drink-driving.
Over 2,000 posters and 5,000 beermats educating road users on the consequences of drink-driving have been distributed to pubs all over Nottinghamshire as part of the campaign, with similar messaging running on the back of Nottingham City Transport buses as part of an advertising campaign.
Officers will also hold a series of roadshow events to engage with the public and highlight the dangers of getting behind the wheel when over the limit for alcohol.
Meanwhile, police teams from across the force will be taking part in a widespread crackdown to target those who choose to drink or take drugs and drive in a bid to make our communities and roads safer.
With Christmas parties taking place over the coming weeks, Clair encouraged people to plan how they would get home if drinking alcohol.
She said: “If you’ve got work do’s or have got Christmas parties planned, that’s the key word – they are planned. Plan your taxi, plan your lift home. If you’re driving and anybody tries to tempt you to have a drink, just ask yourself is it worth it?
“I have to see what it’s done to my children every day because someone decided to drink-drive.”
Clair, 48, recalled the moment police officers arrived at her house to tell her Mark had been killed.
She said: “I was on the phone to my daughter and there was a knock at the door. It was police officers and they told me Mark had been killed on his motorbike.
“I wouldn’t believe them. I said ‘it can’t be him – you must have it wrong, I was on the phone to him an hour ago’. But they had his driver’s licence and they were absolutely certain it was him. That was it – our whole world just stopped.”
She described Mark as a “very kind, very caring and very loving person”.
“If you asked anybody to describe Mark they would say he was a lovely bloke, who just wanted to make everybody laugh,” she said.
“He was a fantastic dad. That has been the biggest impact this has caused – my two children worshiped him and he would do absolutely anything for them.”
The legal alcohol limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for driving is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. It’s impossible to say exactly how many drinks this equals – it’s different for each person – and so Clair is urging people not to drink at all if driving.
“Even if it’s just one drink, that’s too many,” she said. “If you are driving, you don’t have a drink – that should be the approach. There are plenty of alternatives now, such as non-alcohol beers, so don’t be the person who just has the one and then gets in a car and that’s it – you’re responsible for destroying a whole family. Don’t be the person responsible for that.”
To highlight the dangers of drink-driving, Nottinghamshire Police will be staging a series of roadshow events over the coming days.
They will held at Trinity Square in Nottingham city centre on December 9, 10, 17 and 23, between 6pm and 8pm.
During the events, members of the public will be invited to don “beer goggles” that simulate the effects of drunkenness, to show the effect on reaction speeds and the potentially disastrous consequences.
Inspector John Lees, of Nottinghamshire Police, encouraged people to stop by at the roadshows to learn more about why drinking and driving is such a deadly mix.
He said: “Driving after drinking can have devastating consequences and can easily result in a loss of life. All too often we attend road traffic incidents which have life changing impacts on families.
“Please think about your drinking behaviours, particularly over the festive period. Please keep yourself, your family and others safe.
“Please make it your rule: If you have had a drink, don’t drive.”