More than 140 offences dealt with during day of action for Roads Policing Unit in Wiltshire
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Officers from our Roads Policing Unit dealt with more than 140 offences on Wiltshire’s road network in just 12 hours yesterday.
The day of action, which saw approximately 20 officers target drivers failing to abide by the law across Wiltshire, resulted in fines being issued and drivers reported to court for a variety of offences including:
Children carried in a vehicle in a dangerous manner
Failing to wear a seat belt
Using a vehicle when there is a danger of injury due to position and security of load
Using a mobile phone while driving.
A man in his 40s was arrested in Swindon on suspicion of drug driving, while another driver - an elderly man - was taken to the Great Western Hospital for assessment following a minor collision in Chippenham.
Officers also attended a collision at a school in Calne, several careless driving offences and dealt with drivers recording excess speed across the county.
Sgt Will Ayres, who organised the event, said: “To have dealt with more than 140 offences in just 12 hours is really impressive work by the team and I hope this sends a clear message to the public that we are committed to targeting poor standards of driving.
“In total, we had five people reported for using a mobile phone while driving on the M4, and 26 further incidents of using a mobile phone across the county – this is so frustrating for myself and my colleagues because we deal with the devastation following serious collisions and often these collisions are a result of somebody using a mobile phone while driving. Notifying someone that their loved one is no longer here as a result of somebody being distracted at the wheel, especially when it is so preventable, is one of the worst experiences you can have in this job. We hear plenty of excuses when it comes to dealing with incidents of this nature – ‘I was just replying to my friend’, ‘I was responding to a work email’. All of these things can wait until you have stopped driving – I am sure your colleagues or friends would agree, that it’s more important that you arrive late than not at all.
“I think drivers can become complacent – driving, for most people, is something that they do day in, day out, but I cannot stress enough just how important it is that when you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, you give the road your full attention at all times.
“One of the most shocking cases from today was an incident in Swindon in which a driver was reported for the offence of ‘using a vehicle when there is a danger of injury due to position and security of load’ – his car was loaded with large pieces of wood over the top of a newborn baby in the rear of the vehicle. It doesn’t bare thinking about what could have happened had there been a collision, or the driver had been forced to take evasive action.”
Speed checks were conducted alongside a Community Speedwatch Enforcement Officer with 10 people reported for excess speed offences. Community reassurance and vehicle checks were held in Bradenstoke following concerns raised by residents relating to the use of the village roads by HGVs following the closure of Lyneham Banks due to storm damage earlier this year.
Wiltshire PCC Philip Wilkinson also joined officers during the day of action. He said: “Days like this are so important to show Wiltshire Police will robustly target those drivers who fail to abide by the rules on our roads. Proactive, targeted, policing of the issues that matter to communities builds trust and ensures the force is delivering a service that meets the need of its communities.
“Road safety is a key priority in my police and crime plan as a direct result of communities highlighting how important the issue is to them. From listening to these concerns, and the operational advice received from the Chief Constable, I was also able to ensure investment from the precept was allocated to boost the number of officers and vehicles to ensure we are making Wiltshire safer for all.”
The day of action also incorporated Operation Tramline - a joint initiative between National Highways and NRPOI (National Roads Policing Operations And Intelligence). Op Tramline involves an unmarked HGV patrolling the M4 between Bath and Swindon during the course of the day, with three speeding motorists stopped, five drivers reported for using a mobile phone, five people not wearing a seatbelt, one person reported for careless driving, one for insufficient view and one lane three offence detected.
Beverley Hannah, National Highways’ South West Safety Co-ordinator, said: “The vast majority of drivers who use our roads every day behave responsibly behind the wheel, but there are some who are putting themselves and others at risk by simply ignoring the law.
“We work with our police partners across the country to tackle inappropriate driving such as using mobile phones, or not wearing seatbelts, and the HGV cabs employed as part of Operation Tramline are an important part of our commitment to tackling unsafe driving and those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and that of others on the road.
“We want to make all of our roads safer by raising awareness and we hope this operation encourages motorists to consider their driving behaviour.”
If you’d like to catch up on all of the action from our Roads Policing Day of Action, you can visit the @WiltsSpecOps twitter page or search the hashtag #12HoursOnWiltshiresRoads.