More than 180 traffic offences detected on the M1 in Northamptonshire
Main article content
Northamptonshire Police was back on-board National Highways’ unmarked HGV earlier this month (June) as part of the latest operation to crackdown on illegal and irresponsible drivers using the county’s major road network.
Officers from the Safer Roads Team, supported by colleagues from the Roads Policing Team and Special Constabulary, used the vehicle to patrol the county’s stretch of the M1 to spot drivers putting others at risk by their poor driving behaviour.
The patrols were carried out between Tuesday, May 30, and Friday, June 2, as part of National Highways’ Operation Tramline campaign which aims to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on the UK’s major routes.
During the four days of action, officers used the HGV super cab 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.
In total 187 traffic offences were detected with more than half involving the fatal five driving offences, which are the main contributors in collisions, with 85 drivers and passengers stopped for not wearing a seat belt.
A further 51 drivers were found to be using a mobile phone while behind the wheel, 14 were reported for driving without due care or reasonable consideration to other road users another five were driving at excess speed.
However, one disqualified driver may have regretted not wearing his seatbelt and using his mobile phone after he was spotted and stopped by officers on the southbound carriageway of the M1 on Wednesday, May 31.
The 34-year-old from Warrington not only had his yellow Mercedes HGV seized but he was arrested and subsequently charged with four offences - driving while disqualified, driving with no insurance, driving while using a mobile phone and not wearing a seat belt.
Eriks Teivans of Rylands Drive in Fairfield and Howley, was released on unconditional bail until his first appearance at Northampton Magistrates’ Court next Thursday (June 15).
While a 21-year-old Sebastian Bone of Leicestershire, was charged with possession with intent to supply Class B drug, after a black Nissan Micra was stopped on the northbound carriageway near junction 18 on Tuesday, May 30.
He appeared before Northampton Magistrates’ Court last Thursday (June 1), where he was released on conditional bail until Thursday, July 13, when he will appear before Northampton Crown Court.
In addition to the fatal five offences, 14 drivers were stopped for having illegal window tints, number plates and no valid MOT, nine had insecure, dangerous loads and three people were driving without insurance.
PC Dave Lee, of the Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team, said: “Reducing the number of people who are killed and seriously injured on our roads remains our priority and to hold a driving licence is both a privilege and a responsibility.
“Some commercial drivers travel thousands of miles each year in the UK and across Europe and are sadly more likely to see the tragic consequences of poor driving standards, so it is always disappointing to still catch a small minority breaking the law.
“It was particularly disappointing to find so many drivers prepared to not only put their own lives at risk but also those of others to check messages, send texts or watch online content on their mobile phones.
“Nothing is so important that it can’t wait and certainly checking your mobile while driving is not worth risking not getting home safely. Driving needs your full attention, so please take responsibility for your personal safety on the roads and hang up.”
National Highways Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator, Marie Biddulph, said: “Through the use of our unmarked HGV cabs, we hope to persuade that small minority of motorists who continue to put themselves and others at risk to think again about their driving behaviour. So, it disappointing to see the number of traffic offences that were spotted during this operation on the M1.
“However, unsafe drivers should be aware that, thanks to the elevated position in the HGV, police officers can see exactly what they are doing, whatever vehicle they are travelling in. Hopefully, this will encourage them to rethink their behaviour and help keep our roads as safe as they can possibly be.”
Tragically in 2022, after being involved in a road collision in Northamptonshire, 36 people never returned home safely to their loved ones, and 347 required urgent medical assistance for serious and life-changing injuries.