Warwickshire Police spot over 200 driving offences during five-day operation on motorways - The Rugby Observer

Warwickshire Police spot over 200 driving offences during five-day operation on motorways

Rugby Editorial 23rd Sep, 2020 Updated: 23rd Sep, 2020   0

OVER 200 driving offences were spotted by Warwickshire Police’s Commercial Vehicle Unit during a five day operation in September.

During the operation – carried out in support of Project Edward, the campaign for Every Day Without A Road Death – officers used the Op Tramline supercab, a specially-adapted HGV owned by Highways England, to look for risky driver behaviours that could cause or contribute towards a collision.

During the week, forty-one people received Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) for using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving, often at high speed – a potential six points on their licence and a £200 fine.

A further 68 people received TORs for not wearing a seatbelt – a potential £100 fine.

Twenty people received TORs for not being in control of their vehicle – three points and a £100 fine – and 12 people were stopped for speeding.

One man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis with intent to supply after he was stopped for traffic offences on the M40 southbound. A significant quantity of the drug was recovered following a search of the vehicle.

One HGV was seen driving on the hard shoulder at over 50mph where a family could potentially be stationary if broken down. When officers looked into his cab he was spotted on his mobile phone.

Another driver was caught reading his delivery notes and using his phone while driving at the national speed limit on the M40.

Officers also saw a driver watching TV on a laptop while travelling on the M40 at nearly 60mph.

Project Edward focused on those who drive for work and around 35 per cent of all drivers stopped were in commercial vehicles – also putting their livelihoods in jeopardy.

For two drivers, the offences were so serious they were referred to the Traffic Commissioner.

PS Carl Stafford said “This is sadly only a snapshot of the week’s findings and unfortunately demonstrates the real driver behaviours that are taking place on a daily basis on our roads.

“We will continue to proactively police Warwickshire’s roads including the M6, M40, M42 and M69 by looking for people that could pose serious danger to themselves and other road users.

“By stopping them and dealing with any offences we hope to change their behaviour and to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“We continue to be the leading force nationally for Operation Tramline and this is testament to the dedication of the officers and volunteers within both OPU and our Special Constabulary who assist in this and many other operations.”

Highways England Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator Marie Biddulph said: “It is disappointing that so many people were caught driving illegally and dangerously over the five days by our Operation Tramline supercabs. Particularly alarming is how many people still choose not to wear a seatbelt or will use their mobile phone at the wheel.

“We know that it is the minority of drivers that ignore the law but they are putting themselves and others at risk.

“Thanks to the elevated position in the HGV, our police partners are able to spot such dangerous drivers and to act as a deterrent to others. We are very grateful to Warwickshire Police for helping us improve safety on our roads.”

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