Five day operation targets poor driving on Northamptonshire’s roads
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Northamptonshire Police was back on board Highways England’s unmarked HGV this month (November 16-20) to improve road safety on a number of the county’s major routes.
Officers from the Safer Roads Team, supported by the Special Constabulary, used the vehicle to patrol the county’s stretch of the M1, A14 and A45, to spot offences and clamp down on poor driving.
The patrols were carried out over five days as part of Highway England’s Operation Tramline, and the Force’s three-month road safety campaign – Operation Journey – which was launched at the beginning of October.
During the week of action, officers used the HGV supercabs to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling alongside vehicles. Drivers seen committing an offence were then pulled over by a police car following a short distance behind.
From these checks, a total of 89 vehicles were stopped with HGVs making up the vast majority with 58 drivers caught flouting the law. Other road users stopped by officers were other (16), private vehicles (four) and LGV (one).
Of those stopped, 69 were for not wearing a seatbelt, 15 drivers were considered to be not in proper control of their vehicle, six were using a mobile phone and one was exceeding the speed limit.
A total of 106 driving offences were detected over the five days. In addition to the above, other offences included drivers having no insurance (five), driving without due care and attention (four) and insecure loads (three).
Those flouting the law have been reported for the offences and will be offered the opportunity to take an online education course if eligible, receive a fixed penalty fine or if preferred, the option to go to court.
In addition to 91 traffic offence reports, officers also issued words of advice to one driver, seized three vehicles for having no valid insurance and reported one driver for summons.
PC Dave Lee, of the Safer Roads Team, said: “To hold a driving licence is both a privilege and a responsibility, especially for those driving commercial vehicles, and it is always disappointing to catch drivers breaking the law.
“We would urge the small minority who continue to commit these types of offences to change their behaviour. The consequences of their actions is not only putting their livelihoods at risk, but more importantly, the safety of other road users.
“Our main priority is to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads, and we will continue to work with our partners to take a strong and robust approach to improve road safety on our roads.”
Highways England Assistant Regional Safety Coordinator, Marie Biddulph, said: “Although the majority of drivers are responsible and safe, it is still surprising that so many people will ignore the law and put themselves and others at risk.
“It is particularly disappointing to see the number of people not wearing a seatbelt – statistics show you are twice as likely to die in a collision if you don’t wear one.
“From the elevated position in the Operation Tramline supercabs, our police partners can view all drivers and spot those breaking the law. By working closely with our police partners, we want to encourage people to think about their driving behaviour and help us keep our roads safe.”