A WOMAN who was left paralysed after she was hit by a van has backed a campaign to tackle drink and drug driving in North Yorkshire.

Lauren Doherty of Knaresborough has spoken out during North Yorkshire’s Summer 2019 drink and drug driving enforcement campaign, which has so far seen 109 motorists arrested since the start of June.

Ms Doherty, 30, who runs a project giving road safety talks to children and teenagers, was struck by a driver as she crossed the road ten years ago.

She spent 16 months in hospital and was told she’d never be able to breathe independently.

But Lauren proved doctors wrong, and has since used her experience to set up Lauren Doherty Road Safety Talks and remind young people about the dangers of the road.

She said: “Lifechanging collisions do happen. It happened to me.

"Drink driving massively increases the odds of a collision happening – I can’t understand why anyone would choose to put themselves in that situation, let alone inflict it on other people.

“Although my personal experience didn’t involve a drink driver, I know that a serious collision is one of the most devastating things that can happen to you and your family."

Ms Doherty now uses a hoist to get around her home.

The Northern Echo:

Lauren Doherty

She said: “If my experience prevents just one person doing something stupid, or one innocent person ending up with lifechanging injuries, then it’s worth sharing.”

One of the 109 arrested during the police campaign – a 19-year-old stopped in Threshfield, Craven – was charged with being three-and-a-half times the legal drink drive limit and will appear before magistrates in Harrogate later this month.

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “It’s great to have the support of people like Lauren, to help us hammer home the message that driving under the influence can and does have catastrophic consequences.

“We warn people about the dangers of drink and drug driving every year. And every year, scores of people choose to ignore it.

“They may regret it when they lose their licence or their name and photo is reported by the media when they’re convicted. But in reality, that’s nothing compared to the lifechanging damage they could cause in a crash.”

Police have been checking drivers around the clock and acting on intelligence about repeat offenders as part of their Operation Attention campaign to tackle a summertime surge in offending.

They are urging members of the public to report their suspicions about people who drive under the influence, saying “one call could be all it takes to save a life”.

Events will be held across the county in June and July to educate members of the public and reinforce prevention messages, run by the 95 Alive road safety partnership.

If you have information about a drink or drug driver, call North Yorkshire Police on 101. If you see someone driving, or about to drive under the influence, call 999 immediately