Operation Snap video submission helps secure dangerous driving conviction
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A motorist has been disqualified for a year after dash-cam footage which captured her driving dangerously on the M1 motorway was submitted to Northamptonshire Police’s Operation Snap.
A Thap Quan, 48, of Brunel Way, Darlington, was recorded on a National Highways’ in-car camera driving slowly in lane two of the northbound carriage on August 15 last year.
The video showed other motorists having to take evasive action to avoid a collision with Quan’s MINI One as it travelled at just 20mph, despite the traffic flow moving at national speed limits.
The motorway matrix signs were quickly activated to close lanes one and two, and the highway’s traffic officer put on his vehicle’s flashing amber lights to attract the attention of Quan, who moved into lane one and stopped.
PC Mo Allsopp-Clarke of Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Team said: “When the highway’s officer spoke to Quan, she admitted that she was trying to reset her sat nav whilst driving.
“He advised her to drive the short distance to Watford Gap Services but when Quan drove off, she again drove extremely slowly, before coming to a stop whilst using her phone to ask someone how to operate the sat nav.
“The highways officer continued to follow Quan, who drove off at 35mph and moved back into lane two. She remained at this speed before driving past the services towards junction 18.
“She then cut across from lane two onto the slip road – driving over the hatch markings – and drove round the roundabout, re-joining the M1 on the southbound carriageway.
“The dash-cam footage captured Quan driving at slow speeds which was a danger not only to her but to other motorists and could have very easily ended in tragic consequences.
“Reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads remains the priority for Northamptonshire Police and our partners at National Highways, and I’m pleased the courts have dealt with the driver positively.”
As a result of the police investigation, Quan was issued with a notice of intended prosecution for dangerous driving and on Monday, March 28 she appeared before Northampton Magistrates’ Court.
Quan pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving and was disqualified from driving for 12 months. She was also ordered to pay a £450 fine, £340 court costs and £34 victim surcharge.
People can report driving offences by uploading video evidence via a simple online portal on the Force website and completing a form, which automatically creates a witness statement to provide a full account of the incident.
Reports are then triaged by trained police staff, who check the footage to ensure it falls within the scheme's remit and contains clear views of an offender’s number plates so they can be identified.
If it matches the Operation Snap criteria, police officers in the Safer Roads Team then examine the footage. If a driving offence is identified, legal proceedings will begin where required.
The team only has 14 days to investigate any offences and members of the public are asked to submit their videos as soon after the incident as possible to allow the maximum time for the footage to be reviewed.
Anyone who submits footage via Operation Snap can find out the outcome of their submission by following the link on their confirmation email which will take them to a monthly update.