Week of action detects more than 140 offences on Northamptonshire’s M1 motorway
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More than 140 traffic offences were detected during Northamptonshire Police’s latest week of action to crackdown on illegal and irresponsible drivers using the county’s stretch of the M1 motorway.
Officers from the Safer Roads Team, supported by colleagues from the Roads Policing Team and Special Constabulary, were back on-board National Highways’ unmarked HGV to patrol between junctions 15 and 18 to spot drivers putting others at risk through their poor driving behaviour.
The patrols were carried out between Monday, October 30, and Friday, November 3, as part of the Force’s continued commitment to Operation Tramline, which aims to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on the UK’s major routes.
During the five 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, 147 traffic offences were detected with more than half involving the fatal five driving offences, which are the main contributors in collisions, with 34 drivers and 12 passengers stopped for not wearing a seat belt.
A further 35 drivers were found to be using a mobile phone while behind the wheel, eight were reported for driving at excess speed, six for driving without due care or reasonable consideration to other road users and four for not being in proper control of their vehicle.
However, one disqualified driver may have regretted not wearing his seatbelt after he was spotted on the first day of the operation (Monday, October 30), and stopped by officers on the M1.
Martin Koky of Welford Road in Leicester not only had his white Maxus Deliver van seized but he was arrested and subsequently charged with driving while disqualified and driving with no insurance.
The 24-year-old pleaded guilty at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, October 31, where he was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, banned from driving for a further 18 months and ordered to complete unpaid work.
While three other drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drugs. The 20-year-old man from Northampton, 29-year-old man from Kettering and 25-year-old man from Wolverhampton were all released under investigation pending blood results.
In addition to the fatal five offences, 12 drivers had their vehicles seized, including six for driving without third-party insurance, three for driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and a further three for no vehicle tax.
Eight had insecure, dangerous loads, six drivers were stopped for having illegal window tints, three for number plate offences, two for towing trailers in Lane 4 and two received immediate prohibition orders for insecure load/tyre defects and overweight vehicles.
Special Police Sergeant Adam Jeskins, of the Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team, said: “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.
“To hold a driving licence is both a privilege and a responsibility and it was very disappointing to find so many drivers prepared to put not only their lives but also their livelihoods at risk for the sake of not wearing a seat belt or checking their mobile phones.
“Driving any vehicle needs your full attention but even more so when you’re behind the wheel of a commercial van or lorry and there’s absolutely nothing so important that can’t wait or is worth risking not getting home safely for.”
National Highways Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator, Marie Biddulph, said: “National Highways believes nobody should be harmed while travelling on our roads which is why we work so closely with our police partners in tackling unsafe driving behaviour.
“From their elevated position in our HGV cab, officers can see into all types of vehicles. So those people who continue to put themselves and others at risk should be aware that through Operation Tramline they will be spotted, whatever vehicle they are driving.”
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.