Police release videos of driving offences and urge people to take care on the roads as clocks go back
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The clocks go back an hour this Sunday (October 29) signalling the end of British Summer Time and the return of longer hours of darkness in the morning and evenings.
This often coincides with an increase in collisions on our county’s roads which has prompted Northamptonshire Police to issue a timely reminder on the importance of being considerate to all road users.
To illustrate this point, the Force’s Safer Roads Team has released a short compilation of clips submitted to Northamptonshire Police’s online portal Operation Snap to highlight examples of poor driver behaviour captured on the county’s roads.
The video has been created using camera footage submitted by cyclists between January and September this year, during which period the Force received 284 Operation Snap submissions from 69 individual witnesses.
This resulted in 207 of the submissions leading to prosecutions against the registered owners of the offending vehicles, while no further action was taken in the other 77 incidents due to evidential reasons.
Of those which did result in further action, 190 were offences associated to Operation Close Pass, which is a UK policing road safety initiative promoting how to pass vulnerable road users, including cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders, at appropriate speeds and safe distances as stated in the Highway Code.
As a result, nine registered owners received a fixed penalty notice, seven were issued with a warning letter, and, due to the serious nature of the offences identified, two drivers faced court proceedings after being sent Notices of Intended Prosecution.
Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Team Manager, Matthew O’Connell, said: “Cyclists are one of our most vulnerable road users and it’s therefore vitally important that drivers take extra care and show consideration for them when sharing the county’s roads.
“Shooting past at speed, or passing too close, can pose a real risk to a cyclist and we hope this video serves as a reminder of the need to slow right down when travelling behind a cyclist and wait for the appropriate time to overtake.
“When overtaking leave plenty of room to ensure the manoeuvre is carried out safely and considerately, without causing unnecessary risk which could put with yourself or the cyclist in danger.”
People can report driving offences by uploading video evidence via the simple online Operation Snap portal on the Force website and completing a form, which automatically creates a witness statement to provide a full account of the incident.
Reports are then triaged by trained police staff, who check the footage to ensure it falls within the scheme's remit and contains clear views of an offender’s number plates so they can be identified.
If it matches the Operation Snap criteria, police officers in the Safer Roads Team then examine the footage. If a driving offence is identified, legal proceedings will begin where required.
The team only has 14 days to investigate any offences and members of the public are asked to submit their videos as soon after the incident as possible to allow the maximum time for the footage to be reviewed.
Anyone who submits footage via Operation Snap can find out the outcome of their submission by following the link on their confirmation email which will take them to a monthly update.