Northamptonshire Police targets poor driving behaviour on county’s major routes
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Northamptonshire Police was back on-board Highways England’s unmarked HGV last month (March) for a five-day operation to improve the standard of driving on some 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 between Monday, March 22, and Friday, March 26, as part of Highway England’s Operation Tramline, and the Force’s commitment to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads.
During the five days of action, officers used the HGV super cabs 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 109 vehicles were stopped with HGVs and smaller goods vehicles making up the vast majority, which resulted in 118 offences being detected.
Of those stopped, 83 were for not wearing a seatbelt, 21 drivers were considered not to be in proper control of their vehicle, one was using a mobile phone, one was driving without due care and attention and four for having an insecure load.
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 the 104 traffic offence reports, 14 drivers 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.
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 so it is always disappointing to catch drivers breaking the law.
“In partnership with our colleagues from the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance, we will continue to raise awareness of the tragic consequences which can happen and encourage everyone to respect our roads by driving both legally and responsibly.
“As a result of Operation Tramline, the chances of getting caught has increased, which can only be a good thing, and will hopefully encourage those willing to not only put their own lives at risk but those of other road users, to re-consider their driving behaviour and use our roads more safely.”
Highways England Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator, Marie Biddulph, said: “Working closely with our police partners, Highways England is striving to stamp out illegal and dangerous driving on our network.
“Using our Operation Tramline HGVs gives police officers an elevated perspective and a clear view into all vehicles. Those who put themselves and others at risk such as driving while using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt can be seen – whatever vehicle they are driving.
“Knowing this, we hope, will persuade all motorists to consider their driving behaviour and abide by the law, making the roads safer for everyone.”