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More than 80 drivers were stopped by Northamptonshire Police last week (October 5-9), as officers joined forces with Highways England to crackdown on poor driving on the M1.
Officers from the Safer Roads Team, supported by the Special Constabulary, used an unmarked HGV to patrol the county’s stretch of the motorway network to spot driving offences.
The patrols were carried out over four days as part of Highway England’s Operation Tramline, and coincided with the launch of Northamptonshire Police’s road safety campaign – Operation Journey.
During the M1 days of action, officers used the HGV supercabs to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling alongside vehicles, with drivers then pulled over by a police car following a short distance behind.
From these checks, a total of 84 offences were recorded with HGVs making up the vast majority with 57 drivers caught flouting the law. Other roads users stopped by officers were private vehicles (11), other (7) and LGV/PVG (2).
Of those stopped, 38 drivers and seven passengers were not wearing a seat belt, 18 drivers were considered to be not in proper control of their vehicle, four were using a mobile phone and one was exceeding the speed limit.
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.
Eleven of the drivers stopped were Foreign Nationals, who did not have a suitable UK address for a summons, which meant they had to be dealt with at the roadside, paying fixed penalty fines and having points added to their driving licence.
However, one driver who was stopped for driving without due care and attention, was arrested after roadside checks showed he was driving a stolen vehicle on false plates, only held a provisional licence and had no insurance.
The 48 year-old man from Thornton Heath in South East London was later released under investigation pending further enquiries. The vehicle was seized by officers for having no insurance and driving otherwise than in an accordance with a licence.
PC Dave Lee, of the Safer Roads Team, said: “Our main priority is to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads, and it is always disappointing to catch drivers breaking the law.
“However with a high number of drivers observed throughout the operation, these figures show it’s a small minority who continue to commit these types of offences and we would urge them to change their behaviour.
“To hold a driving licence is a privilege and a responsibility, especially those driving commercial vehicles, 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: “We know that the vast majority of drivers who use our roads every day are sensible and safe behind the wheel but these figures show that there are clearly some who are putting themselves and others at risk by simply ignoring the law.
“It is particularly disappointing to see the number of drivers and passengers who still do not appreciate the dangers of not wearing seatbelts.
“We hope that by working with our police partners in Operation Tramline and by using the supercabs we can encourage all motorists to think about their driving behaviour.”