Documentary series. At one of the UK's drink driving hotspots, officers from the North Yorkshire Road Policing Group catch up with drivers who have had one too many.
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North Yorkshire, the largest county in England and Wales.
From seaside resorts, like Scarborough,
to the historic city of York.
It just offers you everything that policing could offer you.
You work the cities, you work the rural areas...
6,000 miles of some of Britain's most scenic and most unforgiving roads.
We've got three casualties
out of the vehicle that's there in front of us.
The traffic cops here deal with among the highest number
of serious collisions per person than anywhere in the UK.
Tonight, on the roads around
one of the UK's drink-driving hot spots...
One hammered female driver.
..North Yorkshire's traffic officers catch up with drivers
exceeding the limits.
I got in the car after I'd had a drink, and I feel pretty stupid.
It's all right, I've got you.
And when a bad smash on one of Yorkshire's busiest roads
causes life-threatening injuries, identifying if someone's to blame
becomes a priority.
I've seen some of the collisions that have been
caused by people who have had a drink. I don't want any of my family
to be involved in an accident with some drink driver.
Welcome to North Yorkshire,
a vast area stretching the traffic cops to the limit.
In North Yorkshire, the traffic cops are cracking down on drink drivers.
Keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going...
They're even releasing videos online to warn people of the dangers
of being drunk behind the wheel.
We run two drink-drive campaigns every year in North Yorkshire,
where we just, we stop thousands of motorists and breathalyse them.
North Yorkshire are very,
very high-profile with their drink-drive campaigns,
and yet people will still take that risk. I've no idea why.
Every year, around 250 people die as a result of drink-drive accidents
on Britain's roads.
Quite a lot our fatal accidents involve alcohol, unfortunately.
They have no idea what they're doing
and, as soon as they hit somebody else, quite often, unfortunately,
the innocent party is the one that suffers.
It's a Saturday night in Harrogate, recently classified as having
more drink drivers than anywhere in the UK.
TALK OVER RADIO
Traffic constable Steve Gardner is working the night shift
and has swung by the station to pick up partner Mark Mullins.
-It's Cragdale Rise, Knaresborough. There's been a bump
-and two have made off from it.
-There's been a what?
It's just after kicking-out time in the pubs
and the pair are responding to reports of a collision in a
residential estate in Knaresborough, five miles away.
Two runners, two are still with it.
The reportee has said there were four occupants with him
-when it crashed and two of them have...
-Two have legged it.
-Yeah, they're gone.
-Uninsured, pissed, no licence.
-Something like that. Or it's nicked.
-Good one for us, really.
It's the type of job I quite like.
'When you run away, knowing that the police have been called,'
it usually means that you've got something to hide or you're
scared of the police. There are several reasons why you could
run away, but none of them are innocent.
Right, carry on down, Kiwi.
-Take the next left, mate.
'We're in Knaresborough.'
It's quite a nice area. In fact, it's quite a good area.
I live there!
We're not going to get through here, mate.
If we can't get through, we're going to have to turn round, then.
-Will we get through on the kerb?
-Not with all those people stood there.
Yeah, we'll get a bloody tank through there.
-Go on, mate.
Keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going. Go on, get going.
'It's like Driving Miss Daisy with him.'
Have you seen how he sits in the car, for a start?
He's practically horizontal!
It's fun, he's a good driver,
and he is, but I'd never admit that to him.
The driver is at the scene with local officers.
Have you got Amy with you?
Has she admitted driving?
The driver's roadside breath test is more than three times
the legal limit.
We found, when we got there, the local unit were already there.
There were a couple of parked vehicles to the nearside
parked correctly, facing the correct way on the road,
and the offending vehicle has come along
and ploughed into both of them, causing an incredible
amount of damage, particularly to the 4x4.
She's admitted to us that she's been the driver
and she's the registered keeper of the vehicle. And she's upset.
I think it's dawning that she's dropped herself in quite
a lot of trouble.
Two men who were in the car have returned,
having initially fled the scene.
But Mark's concern is for another passenger who also
disappeared at the time of the accident.
This lass who ran off, what's her name?
-The one that was in the car with me?
We have a duty of care to people.
If there's been four people in the car,
we need to be satisfied that the four people are found.
As the officers search for the missing passenger,
30 miles south of Knaresborough,
traffic officer John Kendall has also been dispatched on an emergency call.
We just had a report of a collision at Stillingfleet, where there's
a suggestion that the driver who's involved could be in drink.
A member of the public has called 999.
John needs to get to the scene quickly before the driver flees.
Apparently, they've taken the keys off the driver to stop him leaving.
'As I was driving to that incident,
'I kept getting updates to say the bloke looks drunk,
'the people have taken his keys, he's crashed into another car.'
People don't always realise what could happen
when they get into a car and have a drink.
By the time John arrives,
another traffic unit is already in attendance.
The suspect driver is a pensioner and, whether he is drunk or not,
John wants to know why he has crashed into a line of parked cars.
-Hi there. Is it your vehicle?
-It is, and it's registered to you, is it, sir?
Are you able to come and join me in my car so we can get some
details from you and just find out a little bit about what's happened?
'Illness can sometimes make people look like they're drunk,'
so you try and keep an open mind and see what happens.
Have you had anything alcoholic to drink today?
-Nothing at all?
One moment, please.
'I have had lots of people telling me they've not had a drink
'and also the old classic, "Well, I only had a pint."'
It's just an unfortunate part of what we do, day in, day out.
The quickest way to determine if this driver needs medical help,
or a night in the cells because he's drunk, is through a breath test.
Because of the fact you've been involved in an accident,
we suspect there's some issue.
I'll tell you, I can ask for the specimen breath, it's a request.
If you refuse or fail to provide it, that's an offence, which can be
arrested, all right, sir?
So, I'll hold the device and all you need to do for me
is form a seal and blow into that until I tell you to stop.
Just, there it is there.
'You can see from the way he's trying to hold the breath kit,
'he hasn't really listened to what I've said to him, he's that drunk.'
We're getting to the point now where things are really getting serious.
-Can you see the tube?
All right, what you need to do is form a seal around the tube
when I tell you and blow into it, OK?
So, form a seal around it and blow. Keep going...
Hang on, no, you need to have a steady blow.
Dealing with a driver struggling to blow properly isn't uncommon.
In 2014, North Yorkshire officers arrested more
than 100 drivers for failing to provide a roadside breath test.
OK, so, form a seal and blow.
Get a seal, keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going...
-OK, thank you.
So, what the machine's doing now is just giving me
an analysis of whether there is any alcohol in your system
and dependent upon the result...
The fact that it's analysing something suggests to me
that you have had a drink, all right? Because it's checking,
-and it's going to tell me.
OK, so what that tells me is 104. Fail.
So, as it stands at the moment, you're under arrest on suspicion
of driving whilst over the prescribed limit. You do not have to say anything...
'You could be shocked by what you saw.
'You could think, look at him, what the hell is he doing?'
But you try and deal with things in a sympathetic way.
Leave your door. It's all right, don't worry about that.
I've got it.
Right, come on. You OK?
The driver's blown three times over the drink-drive limit
and he's struggling to remain upright.
It's all right, I've got you. 'He's staggering out of the car.
'Albeit, yes, he had a problem with his leg,
'but it was probably one of the worst I've had for a little while.'
I don't really have a great deal of tolerance for them, I've got to say.
OK, that's it. Now we've got to the door.
'Drink drivers are criminals, and we want to catch them.
'They are the ones who've chosen to go down that route,'
who decide for whatever reason that they're going to get in a car
when they've had a drink.
-I've not killed anyone.
-No, you haven't, no, no, no.
All you've done is you've hit that car going up the hill.
But unfortunately, you've had a drink, haven't you? So...
-We have to go and...
TALK OVER RADIO
They'll sort that out, they won't sort the other out.
That is a relief. As long as I've not killed anyone
or injured anyone, I have.
In the UK, roadside breath tests cannot be used as evidence in court.
To ensure a conviction, John needs to obtain another sample
back at the station.
I've got him. I want to get him on that machine.
Wherever there's any alcohol involved,
we want to try to progress matters as fast as possible
so we can get evidence again as quickly as we can.
Back in Knaresborough, officers have arrested a female driver after
she crashed her car and failed a roadside breath test.
Can we get recovery, please, for this vehicle?
Although she has admitted driving, PC Mark Mullins has concerns over
a missing passenger who left the scene of the accident.
Hello? Hi, it's Mark Mullins from North Yorkshire Road Policing Group.
I just want to make sure... You're not in any trouble,
I just want to make sure you're all right.
Right, where are you now?
Where do you live?
Right, what I'll do, because of what you've told me, I'm going to
see if we can get an ambulance to come round cos
if you've got a chest injury, it needs to be checked out, all right?
If you just stay there, I'll get them to come round, OK?
There you are. She's at home. She's got some chest pain so...
Steve Gardner is dealing with two male passengers who also left
the scene before the police arrived.
So what are your injuries, fella?
-I've got a bit of a pain there.
-Did you have your seatbelt on?
-OK. That's what that pain's from.
I've got the top of my neck at the back, just a bit of a pain.
And the reason you ran off was what?
-I just panicked. Panicked.
-Panicked about what?
-I don't know.
Just, you know... I didn't want to be involved in one of the...
-You didn't want to be involved in having a crash?
-So you've had the crash and THEN you run away.
-How much have you had to drink tonight?
-Quite a lot.
None of the passengers are seriously hurt.
But the reason why they fled the accident scene is still a mystery.
'They were just trying to make a story up amongst themselves.'
We never really got to the bottom of why those lads were in the car.
One hammered female driver thinks that she can drive home. She can't.
She'll lose her licence, could lose her job, lose her livelihood.
All over a few drinks, eh?
The woman has blown 115, more than three times over the legal limit.
I mean, she's a professional woman, she's got a really decent job.
There's lots of people that we see that are regular
and normal drink drivers. This woman didn't fit any of those criteria.
It was beyond all belief that she had driven less than a mile,
not just on the limit but absolutely hammered, to get home.
Why? No idea.
I got in the car after I'd had a drink and I drove
and then had a crash and then... Yes, pretty stupid.
-INTERVIEWER: First time?
-Yeah, first time.
I never believe it, you know, people say to us time
and time again when we stop them for drink-driving,
it's their first time, "I've never done it, I'm not a drink-driver."
I think, if people get away with it once,
they think they'll get away with it again.
I'd be amazed if it was, but I'll never know. That's the cynic in me.
You go with these two nice gents and then I'll follow you down.
We'll be setting off in a couple of minutes. All right?
'She's out, having a nice night with her friends,
'not a care in the world, and it all comes crashing around her ears.'
But without a doubt it'll have a massive
impact on her in years to come.
The ambulance have said that they're quite happy that she's not
had any serious injuries but they'd rather take her in
to check her over.
The issues that causes for us is that there is a possibility
we might have to go down the blood route for the drink-driving
side of it but, at the end of the day, she has blown 115 so we've
got three, four, five hours, she's still going to be well over.
The drunk driver is given a police escort to hospital,
and she's not the only one left counting the cost of her actions.
The parked car she hit has sustained a lot of damage.
And it looks like she hasn't been tootling along either.
She's driven so fast that she's shifted
a tonne and a half of 4x4
eight feet forward.
It's a lovely car. I'm going to miss it.
My daughter heard it. She was at the front of the house.
Just shouted us awake.
So we came down.
There wasn't anybody seriously hurt, which is a good thing.
Tomorrow, I'll be pinching my daughter's car
and then probably looking for a new car, I think.
They seem to have taken it quite well, actually but, at the end
of the day, the woman says, "Is it a write-off? Cos I love my car."
It's her baby.
Not that one any more. Straight to the scrapyard.
Don't forget your teddy bear.
-No, leave that in there.
-On the mirror.
Why do people drink and drive? Laziness.
They think they're not affected by alcohol in any way, they think
they can have the third or fourth or fifth pint and be fine to drive.
-Thank you very much.
If one of her passengers had not had her seatbelt on or just
banged her head in the wrong way on one of the frames within the car
and been seriously injured or killed,
she would have gone to prison. I think people don't realise it.
At York police station,
John Kendall has arrived with the drink-driving pensioner.
A roadside breath test showed the driver to be three times over
the drink-drive limit.
But only the station meter can be used as evidence in court.
-Have you got a mobile phone with you?
OK, I'll just ask you to switch it off for us
while we're in here, if you could.
Can you turn it off?
What we'll do is, when we go in there,
we'll take your property and what have you.
-Just sit tight.
It's quite sad to see he's in such a state that he can't even
switch his phone off. This isn't good.
-Where is it?
-There's a button at the top.
I don't know if that's what you do to turn it off.
Don't ring anybody, will you?
Let me have a look, see if we can figure out how we do it.
-Is it one of these?
Just pop it back in your pocket there for the moment.
It's switching off so just leave it there a second. It's all right.
My previous profession...
before I retired...
'He's designed police cells
'and then, all of a sudden, he finds himself in one.
'It's a fall from grace.'
It's important, catching people who are drink-driving and taking them off the road.
You know, he is the master of his own destiny. He has done that.
He is the one who has gone drinking.
He is the one who has got in a car and he is responsible for it,
and he needs to take that responsibility.
Unfortunately, there are still people who think
they can take a bit of a chance. He has driven on a main road
where there would have been a catastrophe if he had crashed.
John needs to get another breath sample before this driver
starts to sober up.
Right. Pop yourself down on there for me, if you could. OK.
Just sit there for a minute. Just relax a moment.
That means we are ready to go. So hold it there.
And just make a nice seal around the end of the tube.
And then get blowing.
Don't put the whole thing in your mouth.
That's it, keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going...
Keep going. That's it, you have done the first one. OK, just relax.
Those readings are 98 and 95. OK, so we take the lower reading.
So that means that you are over the limit. OK?
Which we probably thought was going to happen anyway,
didn't we, to be fair?
He's going to be facing a lengthy ban and part of the punishment
will be for him to have some sort of alcohol counselling.
And it may be that this is his chance.
You know, if he takes it,
then this may be an end to all these things
and make him realise, having come here...
It's a big fall from grace, I suppose, for a guy like him to come
into the cells that he has designed.
We have got to hope that that is what happens and he takes
that forward and it stops now and he gets some help with his drinking.
With the second breath test well above the legal limit, the architect
will be kept in police custody until sober enough to be released.
No matter what the time of day or night,
the traffic cops are always on the lookout for drink-drivers.
Joining TC Steve Gardner on night patrol is TC Chris Coleman.
Oh, dear, I'm tired.
But working nights can be tough, on and off shift.
The missus had a couple of glasses of red tonight with her dinner
and I was looking, wishing I could have a couple of glasses of red!
At 2am, the pair are heading north on the A1.
-You all right, Kiwi?
-No, no, mate, I'm good.
World is your oyster.
They pass a lay-by and Steve notices a car parked up.
Bit of passion?
All fogged up.
Let's find out what's going on here.
Do you want to run it through?
Could I have a vehicle check, please?
Could be lots of things.
It could be lovers in a car, it could be druggies in a car...
Totally out for the count, two people, male and female.
Not even moved a muscle.
TC COLEMAN TALKS ON THE RADIO
For a start, let's see if they are alive.
I'm guessing they are alive with the amount of fogging up inside the car.
And secondly, just to find out why they are parked up here.
It is quite common and we come across single occupants having had
a fallout with the other half, they just drive away from the situation.
But to see two people sleeping in a car is unusual.
Hello, mate. Sorry to wake you up. Is everything all right?
-How come you are sleeping here, mate?
-I've been driving too long, mate.
-You've been driving too long?
-Where have you come from today?
The second that that window was wound down, there was
a good strong smell of alcohol coming from within the vehicle.
'So, at this point, I'm thinking that this guy has had a few drinks
'before he has driven there.'
-What time did you stop driving? How long have you been here?
-How long is ages?
What time do you think it is now?
-Two o'clock in the morning.
-You have been here since what time?
I can smell a lot of alcohol in the vehicle.
-Have you been drinking tonight?
-No, my girlfriend has.
We are going to give you a breath test if that's OK with you?
-So you have not been drinking at all?
I had a beer and a bit of all that.
-How long ago?
-About seven o'clock.
He has admitted to driving that vehicle to that location.
I doubt the timings that he has given us
so it is now my suspicion that he has been drink-driving.
-But you have been here since six o'clock?
-So you have had a beer since you have been parked here?
-What sort of beer did you have?
-A bit of vodka, I think it was.
-You said beer.
-Yeah. Only a bit, like, with my girlfriend.
-Where is the beer can? Or beer bottle?
-It's in this one here.
-It's in where?
-It's in that.
-That's a Coke bottle.
Yeah, but you said beer. Don't wake her up,
you don't have to wake her up.
It's all right. She's all right. You said you have had a beer.
Yeah, I have only had a little bit. My girlfriend has been drinking.
-Well, where is the beer bottle?
-The vodka is in that.
-There is a bit of vodka in that.
-No, you said you had a beer.
Yeah, a swig of that, only a little bit.
I'm starting to think I'm talking a different language to this chap.
You know, he says he has a beer, he says, "That's what I meant, vodka."
And that's what it means, having a beer. And that's like...
Pfft, you know.
Maybe where he comes from, but I've never heard that term before,
having a beer when it's spirits in a Coke bottle.
-Are you going to pass a breath test?
-Yeah, yeah. Of course I will.
All right, Gary. Nice steady blow until I say stop.
Keep going, keep going, keep going. That's it. Thank you.
-Anything over 35, Gary, is a fail.
-You have blown 35, mate.
-So you are bang on the limit.
-I have only had a couple of swigs, that's it.
-A couple of swigs, that is more than that, mate.
-I'm a boxer. I don't drink.
-GIRL: It's freezing.
-I have a drink about once every
-Have you got your driving licence on you, Gary?
-Yeah, I have.
What I'm going to do is give you a producer for your insurance.
A producer means the driver will need to bring proof
of his insurance documents to a station in the next seven days.
Sit in the back of there while my colleague does you a producer.
If I followed a car and I pulled the driver over in a very standard
clear-cut drink-driving type case,
and they blew 35, I would be frustrated.
But when you have a case like this
when there is a chap asleep in a car and he was comatose, he was well out
of it, I'm always going to struggle with the drink-drive situation.
-Right, mate. You are free to go.
-Thanks very much.
'We couldn't prove the driving angle,'
we couldn't prove the post-drinking angle.
Both Chris and I knew that we were struggling with any offences here.
-His keys were out of the
-ignition. And he was asleep.
I thought the key was in it. Were the keys not...?
Keys were not in the ignition. Double-checked that.
You couldn't prove that he was about to drive.
I haven't had a beer since about seven o'clock.
We have just come back from Newcastle, so...
I was pulling over...
Cos it's a bit of a long drive, isn't it?
It's like three hours long.
So I just pulled over and me mate had a little drink in the car,
and, the next thing I know, the knocking at the window.
For a breathalyser.
This driver might have been just on the right side of the alcohol reading,
but every year, across the UK,
over 70,000 people are caught above the limit.
Targeting drivers who pose a risk to themselves and others
is a 24-hour operation in North Yorkshire.
But when the reports run dry,
sometimes it can be a chance to catch up on paperwork.
At the police station in Scarborough, Traffic Constable Dan Hughes
and Sergeant Pete Wood are updating their caseload.
But for Dan, the office is the last place he wants to be.
I have always had an interest in cars, and fast cars and driving.
And that aspect of the role is really what drew me
to being a police officer.
I don't really have a natural curiosity. I'm not nosy.
Not like my missus. She is.
That's why she's a detective!
I just wanted to drive fast cars.
Dan could be in luck.
An urgent call for assistance comes through from a member of the public
who has reported the theft of a tractor in a village 20 miles away.
Rural theft costs an estimated £1.5 million
across North Yorkshire in 2014.
And high-value tractor theft is on the increase throughout the UK.
-He has now turned right... The A170 again.
But this time, the theft appears to be less about making a fast buck.
The driver has taken it for a joyride without the owner's permission.
We are just heading over to the Wombleton area.
There is a report that a male that has had some sort of issues
at home, he has left the address in a tractor
with a trailer on the back.
We do suffer thefts of farm machinery, tractors included.
But we don't often get reports of somebody taking
one for a joyride in the middle of the afternoon.
But a three-tonne tractor could cause some serious damage
and stopping it quickly isn't going to be easy.
He's stopped, he's looked at me,
set off again, stopped, set off again.
We have all sorts of tactical options
in relation to pursuing vehicles,
stolen vehicles included, but that doesn't really cover tractors.
We have stingers, and that would be our first port of call, really.
We can't really chase something like that round all day long.
With Dan 15 minutes away,
news comes through that the driver has abandoned the tractor
outside his mother's house, and run off.
He's mentally unstable.
The concern here is, the man the cops are chasing
has mental health issues
and he's still at large, and potentially dangerous.
This is quite a volatile gentleman, by all accounts,
so we're just waiting for some support to get there.
Obviously, myself and Peter en route, we've both got Tasers.
We're going to lend some assistance when we get on the scene.
Given the sensitivities involved, the police rendezvous in the village
to talk with a local officer, Andy Pomfret, who knows the man well.
Obviously, what we've got to consider here is that we are dealing
with somebody that has got some mental health issues,
and he's carried that all his life
since sustaining a serious injury at a young age,
and he might just need some help, so we can't go in all guns blazing.
We've got to, you know, go in on a sort of low approach
but be mindful that we might need to up our game, if need be.
We're not dealing with Mr Average Criminal that is just
hellbent on getting away from us with his new stolen booty.
We're dealing with somebody that's potentially not making
completely rational decisions.
The man's irrational behaviour isn't the cops' only concern.
-Also, last night, he has supposedly been drinking a bit.
Not only does this chap have some mental health issues,
it sounds like he's been drinking, as well.
So, alcohol could well be a factor in how he reacts with us
and how he's dealt with.
The main problem is, obviously,
to mitigate any further problems that we might have, to
people in the vicinity, other road users and people in the village.
So, our idea is to contain either the person and the vehicle,
but unfortunately, in a fast-moving situation like this, we've got
to take things as we find them.
For officers like Dan and Pete, prosecuting drunk
or illegal driving is key to making the North Yorkshire roads safer.
But, with just 60 traffic officers covering 3,200 square miles,
they commonly work single-crewed, often in testing situations.
Helping them to respond to the many reports of accidents
and incidents involving illegal or drunk drivers
is a busy team of men and women at the force control centre in York.
Operators like Dave Hopkinson.
I'll be dealing with, say, maybe 12 officers at any one time,
with seven or eight different incidents,
and they're all needing information passing back.
You may have one officer that's 30 miles away on his own,
that's gone 30 miles out of his way on his own,
sending a single officer to a potentially serious incident,
and him going to that, knowing that his nearest backup
might be 50 minutes away.
So that's just one downside of policing such a large area.
Today, the team is dealing with a major road traffic collision, or RTC.
We've got reports of a road traffic accident on the old A1, the A63.
John shouted across, it's a serious RTC,
a heavy goods vehicle versus a car. Fire and ambulance are en route.
Soon as I knew that, the first thing I'm thinking is, where's
our nearest available units so that I can get them travelling to it?
Somewhere on the old stretch of the A1 along here,
we're not certain exactly where. I've got units just coming up now.
The nature of being somebody trapped, that will
always make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up more,
because the chances are it's going to be very, very serious.
Top end of Fairburn,
the top roundabout before the stretch of the A1, closed
the road at...
-Highways are aware, aren't they?
Fire brigade there, ambulance is there, media aware.
You think, right, this one's going to keep us busy for a bit
and then there's a little voice going,
"somebody could be seriously hurt in this",
which puts things in perspective.
It could be life-threatening, but at this stage,
we honestly don't know
until we manage to get the casualty out of the vehicle,
which they are working on now,
so I'm just awaiting further updates.
The HGV driver has been breathalysed at the scene.
News reaches the ops team.
Driver of the HGV has just blown 104.
A professional driver, practically three times over the limit.
It shocked all of us, to be honest.
This is the first one I've come across, to be honest. Somebody
with 38 tonnes' worth of vehicle, obviously nearly three times over the limit.
Unfortunately it's the innocent party or possible innocent party
in a car that's ended up the serious casualty.
Trapped in the wreckage is a 19-year-old driver
and Dave has concerns he may not survive.
Back on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors
in Wombleton, TC Dan Hughes and Sergeant Pete Wood are closing
in on the man who took his mother's tractor for a joyride.
The suspect has abandoned the tractor outside his home
but is still at large and there are concerns for his wellbeing.
We have come round now, used our vehicles to block this tractor in,
which as you can see it's quite a reasonably-sized tractor
and it's towing that big heavy roller.
That could potentially do an awful lot of damage to other
property or people.
Finding the man now is a priority.
The cops are greeted by his concerned mum.
At the moment we want to speak to him and we want to see how he is.
Yes, all right then.
-Don't let them out. These are his dogs.
Get hold of one of them, you big lads. They won't hurt you.
-They won't hurt, will they?
-They are just boisterous, aren't they?
This has a thing on because he will bite, that dog.
-Have we got anywhere we can tie him up outside for now?
-No, I'll take him in.
-Can we check that he's not in the house, please?
-I will. Get in. Get in.
While Pete stays behind with the man's mother,
Dan and Andy widen the search.
We'll just... That's the chap's mother says that he's
not in the property, although in fairness she's only just
turned up, so we're just going to make a search of some of these
outbuildings and see if there's any sign of him.
Pete tries to get to the bottom of why the tractor was taken.
-Has there been anything that has caused the problems today?
-Well, he just said to me
when he went, "I don't care any bloody more," he said, "I'm sick of it."
-I've looked after that lad for five years now.
I got his seizures down. I got the pregabalin off that was making him smash everything.
As a fuller picture starts to emerge of the man's vulnerable state,
finding him becomes a matter of urgency.
The search is stepped up with a police dog
and it's not long before he's spotted.
Which way are we?
Now one of my colleagues has seen the chap across the fields
at the rear of the premises, so we're just trying to get him contained now.
'So we'll stay with him.'
'We've apprehended him in the field.'
He's arrested by Andy, the local officer, who knows him well.
I am arresting you on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle...
-Yes, I know.
-Of taking a vehicle without lawful consent,
-do you understand that?
-Yeah. Can I light my fag?
He's calm and compliant with us.
Can you dispose of that in a better way than I can?
Upon arresting the man, the cops discover him drinking a can of beer.
-I've arrested Ray, right?
-You've arrested him?!
I need his medication for tonight,
can I have his medications for tonight, please?
-You've arrested him?
-Yes, I have.
Well, then I want to speak to the Chief of Police,
-and I want the press here.
-That's no problem at all.
Well, where is he? I want to see him.
And I want you to go up there...
-No, you're not demanding me to do things.
Shirley, Shirley, what we need to do,
we need to get the matter sorted out, all right, try and calm down.
I can't calm down! Caused all this...
'She's obviously had to put up with quite a lot over the years.'
And we're just trying to reassure her there that we'll
do our utmost to look after him.
There's obviously a long-standing history in relation to this family
and their dealings with the police, and some mental health issues.
Unfortunately, our hands are tied,
he's driven off in this tractor without having a licence for it.
Once we got him into custody,
we revealed he was actually disqualified from driving.
Had no insurance for the vehicle,
he'd taken a vehicle he shouldn't have had.
No matter what issues he has mentally, that doesn't
preclude the fact that he shouldn't be out driving on the road.
We could have been chasing him round the village,
he could have been crashing into cars, causing damage,
and we could have had to maybe take some more forceful action.
Back at the control centre in York,
Dave and colleague Gemma are dealing
with a serious collision between an HGV and a car
on the A1 when news comes through on the trapped car driver.
We received an update to say that the person who's driving the vehicle
that's been in the collision has actually, is actually deceased now.
It's very heartbreaking when you find out that somebody's
lost their life through no fault of their own,
an innocent party has died.
We're fortunate that we're separated from it,
we're in a control room, so we're not there seeing the incidents
that the guys on the ground and the girls on the ground can see.
It can be harrowing.
For the traffic officers on the ground,
dealing with fatals is part of the job, but never easy.
I can still remember the very first fatal road collision I went to,
when I'd only been in the job for two days, and I thought,
"What have I let myself in for here?" It was horrific.
And all the other guys that were there, the other officers,
seemed to be just getting on with things,
and you think to yourself, "Is there something wrong with me?
"Are they OK? What is it?"
We'll need an officer to attend
the registered keeper's home address in West Yorkshire.
Make the knock on the door and, eh,
speak to whoever's at the home address.
I'd be lying if I said I haven't come away from some families
and just sat in the car and shed a tear,
after I've met them.
260 people died across Britain as a result of drink-driving in 2013.
15% of all road deaths.
The HGV driver was found to be three times over the legal limit.
If found guilty of death by dangerous driving,
he'll face a lengthy prison sentence.
Ten miles from the control centre,
one of North Yorkshire's busiest highways, the A64, near Tadcaster.
It's five o'clock.
TC John Kendall is an hour into his shift when he gets
an urgent shout to attend a serious road traffic collision.
Yeah, 10-4, I'm en route. Till we know what's involved.
The A64 links Leeds and York with the east coast, and the accident
John's responding to is
on a congested part of a single carriageway.
It's a bit of an accident blackspot, unfortunately, this road up here.
So we'll get ourselves there and see what we see.
If it's serious,
then this busy link road could be shut down for hours to come.
My first thoughts were, "I wonder what it will be",
because I've been to quite a few collisions there.
Some of them can be relatively minor,
where people walk away without any serious injury,
others can be a bit more serious.
Fairly quickly it becomes apparent that it's quite a serious accident.
Ambulance crews are already attending.
As first traffic officer on the scene,
John has to quickly establish control.
Who's the driver of this car?
-The driver's over there, he's OK.
-We weren't in any other cars.
All right, you're just one of them.
-Did you see what happened at all?
-Can you just bear with me and I'll try and get some...?
Sometimes it's a bit like the duck on the top of the river
that looks like it's going on nice and serenely
but, underneath, it's paddling like crazy.
'You've got to remain calm,
'you've got to use your experience you've gathered over the years.'
I've got a trapped driver there. Got a guy here with chest injuries.
'The driver was trapped in the driver's seat
'and the guy in the front passenger seat was also being treated.'
So, I was getting to be a bit anxious at this point
and thinking, right, this could be serious.
If possible, could you get me another unit to assist with traffic?
Because we're right in the middle of the junction.
With the road blocked, John begins to take witness statements.
The taxi driver pulled out in...
It didn't stand a chance of stopping.
This taxi's unfortunately pulled out directly into the path
-of this car here.
Fortunately, the driver of the van that collided with the taxi
Working out why the taxi pulled out will be the next task.
But, as the sole traffic officer on the scene, John's up against it.
As well as investigating the crash, he has to make the scene safe,
and monitor any injuries.
I know it's early days. How are we doing with all the casualties?
Anybody that's serious or life-threatening?
Well, the driver and the back-seat passenger
-aren't looking particularly great.
-Are they bad-bad?
-Could, potentially, yeah.
-Yeah. I've just been speaking
with the ambulance reference the state of the casualties.
It is slightly early days yet. But, until we've got two of them out,
they're not able to tell me the level of the injuries.
So, I'm going to have to close the road for now.
As the only traffic cover in the York and Selby area,
John's got a bit of a wait for backup.
It always seems like a long time, when you're asking for help,
and you're at that scene, and you want other people to get to you.
-Alfa Romeo 1-0-5.
15 minutes after his arrival at the scene,
backup appears, along with fire crews to attend the trapped driver.
One of the passengers, the father of the taxi driver, is removed.
But the driver will need to be cut from the car.
We're a bit concerned about the driver of the car,
in terms of the fact he was trapped in the vehicle.
What I'm doing is waiting until colleagues have got
these people out, and then we'll be able to get a better update
on what's actually happened, and how they stand.
Then there's a crucial update from the paramedics.
Do you consider it life-threatening at the moment, potentially?
At this moment, it's potentially life-threatening.
The driver, I'm just going to check out.
-The guy on the back, he is not too bad.
-Seems to be all right.
I just briefly spoke to him.
All I've got, I think it's father and son.
So, this is the moment, I think, when I've got the update
that makes me play my final card, if you like, which is,
right, this is a potential fatal accident.
So, I suppose, if you like, it ups the ante on the investigation,
and the levels of our concern.
So, I'm calling for extra help now
to make other people aware of what we've got.
If there are any fatalities,
John needs to treat the accident site as a crime scene,
and must now lock the area down
to preserve any evidence until crash investigators arrive.
Once they're out of the vehicle, I'll be able to make a better call,
a better judgment, and I'll let you know soon as I can.
But that's easier said than done
when you're the only traffic officer attending.
A number of problems, logistical problems at the scene
because we've got a lot of people,
three casualties of the vehicle that's there in front of us.
We've got both carriageways of the A64 closed at the moment.
So, logistically, we've got a massive amount of traffic.
But, my biggest concern is making sure we preserve
as best we can this scene here for our investigation.
As well as dealing with more than 2,500 casualties every year,
North Yorkshire's traffic officers also monitor the traffic flow
on its busiest road, a 40-mile stretch of the A1 motorway.
We have one of the major arterial routes
from north to south of England,
going right through the middle of our county.
80,000 vehicles travel
on North Yorkshire's stretch of the A1 every day.
And Steve Gardner is back on patrol,
keeping his eye on the fast-moving traffic.
Traffic in North Yorkshire is fantastic because, basically,
I get left alone, I'm my own boss. My patrol car is my office.
A good day for me is variety.
'Today, Steve is on the lookout for an offence
responsible for 12% of all fatal collisions.
Speeding is prevalent.
I can sit on a motorway less than two minutes
and catch someone speeding.
It's there every minute of every day.
And, unfortunately, if we do have a motorway accident,
it usually involves speed.
Steve's parked up near Boroughbridge, armed with a speed gun.
Speed limit's 70.
Um. The government allows 10% plus two.
So, you're entitled to drive, I suppose, at 79mph.
There's lot of talk of them putting it up to 80.
In my books, if the limit's 70, and people tend to drive at 80,
if they put the limit up to 80, then I think people will drive at 90.
This is a very, very accurate system.
You can pick out a vehicle from up to 2,000 feet away.
And, with one in eight of us exceeding the speed limit
on Britain's motorways, it's not long before Steve clocks an offender.
D-A-W. Personalised plate.
Just picked up a speeder on the motorway there, lane three,
doing 97 in a 70 limit.
So, let's see if we can catch up with them now.
Yeah, he's tucked into lane two there,
personalised plate on a white BMW.
He's right up the chuff of somebody else there as well,
which is just ridiculous.
Look at that following distance, just rubbish.
97mph is very quick, especially in a busy motorway we've got today.
I'll get him pulled over now that he's committed to northbound.
I mean, she's flying.
Not only is she flying, she's right up behind people, pushing.
To me, that is just completely irresponsible.
Can you come and take a seat in my car, please?
Will the kids be all right?
I'm quite shocked as I approach the car. It's a female driver
with a very young child, in fact, two young children
in the back seat of the car.
And this person is doing 97mph
with young children in the back of the car.
OK. I've stopped you for an offence of speeding.
Can you tell me what the speed limit is on the motorway, please?
70 or 80. 80, 70?
-Which one is it?
How fast were you going?
Every time I ask that question, how fast do you think you were going?
I would say 90% of the replies are 85mph.
And it's just a figure that comes out with every driver I stop.
97mph in a 70 limit is far, far too fast,
and bordering dangerous driving, OK?
Um. I've been on the motorway now for a good hour-and-a-half,
I've not seen anyone doing anywhere near that speed, OK?
And, when you did see me, you did slow down, OK?
You've pulled into lane two.
And then you're following the car in front of you
with no stopping distance whatsoever.
So, if that car in front of you had to brake for some unknown reason,
you would have slammed straight into the back of it.
You've got two kids in the back of your car.
To me, you're not aware of what's going on around you
in a motor vehicle. You're not driving safely on a motorway.
You wouldn't believe how many people will tell me that, in the car.
I've been doing this job for donkey's years.
Most people say, "I don't normally drive like that."
It's no excuse.
You've driven like that today. You're not a great driver today.
'That's just a rubbish excuse.'
I mean, if you're absolutely busting,
then pull off the motorway, get into a lay-by somewhere.
She's passed at least three junctions in the last ten miles.
Despite the woman's excuse,
her excessive speed means that she won't be given a roadside ticket.
She will have to go to court.
I know I'm a competent driver. I know you'll say otherwise.
But I know.
It doesn't matter, I was in the wrong, isn't it?
I shouldn't have done it.
My son was bursting for a wee. He's playing on his game as well.
So, one minute he's like, "Mummy, I need the toilet."
And then he's playing on his game, so he forgets, you know.
And then he'll remind me again, "Mummy, I need the toilet."
He said, "Mum, I'm going to have to do it on the back seat."
I, too, have a young family.
I understand what it's like when a child says, "I need a wee."
Then, a minute later says they don't need a wee.
Then they need a wee again.
But, at the end of the day, once a child says to me, "I need a wee",
I'm looking for an exit.
I'll be looking for a way of getting off the motorway.
Yes, sympathise with this woman all you like,
but she's just motoring to try to get home.
-All right, then. Thank you very much.
Have a safe day. Bye.
Although she could be facing a driving ban,
the driver is unrepentant.
Some people do drive dangerously.
I don't feel like I was driving dangerously, you know.
Everybody is different the way they drive.
I felt like I was in control of the car. I've got my children there.
If I didn't think I was in control of the car,
I wouldn't be going that fast.
But that's not up to me, apparently, to be the judge of, you know.
So, I think it's a bit unfair.
But, you can't fight the law, can you?
You can't fight the law.
Peed in the car!
The price of a car valet isn't the only cost she could be counting.
It could have an impact on her life in the fact that,
if she was working for somebody and needed a driving licence
and was disqualified, then she would lose her job, lose her livelihood.
It could have a massive impact.
But it would have a bigger impact on some other family
if she'd crashed into someone at 97mph.
She's just not a great driver.
Back on the A64 near Tadcaster,
one of the injured passengers from the car has
life-threatening chest and abdominal injuries,
and needs transportation to hospital fast.
With the roads now closed,
an air ambulance arrives to take the injured passenger into care.
'Bearing in mind at this point,
'I've still only got one other bobby with me.
'The helicopter's coming. So, that needs somewhere suitable to land.'
The air ambulance is a fantastic, fantastic bit of kit.
'It's a great tool to get people to hospital very quickly.'
They often refer to the golden hour of treatment,
from initial incident to getting somebody to hospital,
it can make a massive amount of difference.
While the passenger is air-lifted to safety,
the taxi driver is still trapped in the car.
What we'll have to do is, first of all, get him cut from the vehicle.
Once he's actually cut from the vehicle,
they'll want to get him onto a spinal board.
Despite his condition, he could be to blame for the accident.
Two independent witnesses are basically saying that
it's the taxi driver's fault on the face of things,
as we can tell at the moment.
The question now is, why a professional driver
made such a serious error of judgment.
We've just had some information from the fire brigade, fire service,
that they could smell alcohol coming from that car,
possibly from the driver, so it could be that alcohol
is going to be a factor in the accident.
Traffic officers like John are only too aware of the consequences
of driving while over the limit.
From a personal point of view, I've seen some of the collisions
that have been caused by people who have had a drink.
And I look at that, I've got a family,
I don't want any of my family to be involved in an accident
with some drink-driver.
The taxi driver has got to deal with the fact that he's had a crash
where his father, who is quite elderly, has been hurt.
And that he's got to live with that.
Steady, move. Hang on.
-A little bit more.
The driver is finally freed, and rushed to hospital.
Meanwhile, collision investigator Dave Taylor arrives
to carry out a forensics investigation of the scene.
As I say to quite a lot of officers,
if somebody had come onto the A64 at 5.30 this morning or this afternoon
with a shotgun, and killed somebody,
nobody would be allowed into this scene.
That is exactly the same what has happened.
What you've got here is, you've got two people
driving lethal weapons, ie, cars.
And someone has been injured as a result of someone using that.
That's the analogy that I use.
If the driver survives
and one of the other occupants dies in that vehicle,
then he is culpable, and he potentially would be responsible,
and we'd be looking at a criminal investigation then.
So, albeit that we have got other witnesses who say
that the taxi pulled out, we've got to be absolutely certain.
We've got to gather as much evidence as we can that, if need be,
we could take a watertight case to court.
An alcohol reading taken from the injured taxi driver
confirms he is over twice the legal limit.
And further investigation of the taxi
throws up more potential evidence.
We found that, actually, when he's pulled out of the junction,
the taxi driver was in third gear.
Bear in mind, as well, his judgment is impaired at that point
by the fact that he's had a drink.
So, he's seen a gap which he thought was safe to go,
but he's in third gear.
That means, when he tries to pull away from the junction,
he doesn't have that power to get him out of it immediately.
If found guilty, the driver will lose his licence,
and be banned from driving taxis for ten years.
The taxi driver,
he's suffered quite serious injuries as a result of this accident.
He's probably the person who's come off worst of all.
I know some people might say, well, good, that serves him right.
But I am a sympathetic person
and I can't help but have some sympathy for him.
In a way, you could argue, actually, this guy's been lucky
because nobody's been killed.
The other people involved have made a good recovery.
And he'll live to tell the tale.
And, at some point, he can move on and, I hope, and I think he will,
he'll learn a lesson and never do it again.
The woman who crashed her car in Knaresborough
was found guilty of being over the prescribed limit, and was fined £395,
and disqualified for 20 months.
The drunk pensioner who crashed into a line of parked cars
whilst more than three times the legal alcohol limit,
pleaded guilty at court, and was fined £800,
and disqualified from driving for 25 months.
The man who took his mother's tractor on a joyride
was charged with disqualified driving and no insurance.
He was disqualified for three years, and fined £400.
At the police station, he blew under the legal alcohol limit.
The lorry driver who collided with a car head on, killing the driver,
was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving,
and sentenced to seven years and eight months.
The woman caught speeding on the motorway
as she raced to reach the loo was fined £70 with £105 costs,
and received five points on her licence.
And the taxi driver who collided with a transit van
on the A64 near York pleaded guilty to being over the prescribed limit,
and careless driving.
He was fined £150, and disqualified for 16 months.
On the roads round one of the UK's drink driving hotspots, officers from the North Yorkshire Road Policing Group catch up with drivers who have had one too many, and all too often the traffic cops find themselves dealing with the consequences of the drunk and dangerous. Every year around 250 people die as a result of drink drive accidents on Britain's roads.
In Harrogate, its closing time at the pubs and a female driver who is three times over the limit has ploughed into a parked car. Officers quickly arrest the driver but have concerns over a missing passenger who fled the scene of accident. In Selby, when a pensioner crashes into a line of parked cars, residents call the cops with concerns that the driver is too drunk to drive. In a village nestled amongst the North Yorkshire Moors the police hunt down a man who has taken a tractor on a joyride. On the A1 motorway, a young mother is caught speeding at 97 mph, her excuse is that her child needs a wee. And, when there's a bad smash on one of Yorkshire busiest roads, the A64, traffic cop John Kendall has to close the road and call in a crash investigator when it becomes clear that there are life threatening injuries.