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We have stopped more than 100 drivers in a five-day period following a road safety operation in Staffordshire.
Officers from our Roads Policing Unit (RPU) have been completing a series of targeted patrols around the county as part of Operation Tramline.
The initiative is supported by colleagues from National Highways and saw officers record a total of 116 driving offences on the A34, A38, A50, A500 and A449.
Most commonly, we found 37 motorists who were not wearing a seatbelt and also caught a staggering 27 people on their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel – including a man who was driving a 40-tonne HGV.
We also tested a number of motorists for drink and drug driving at the roadside, resulting in one man being arrested after he tested positive for cannabis and a further four arrested after a stolen car was stopped in Stoke-on-Trent.
A number of other offences were also reported on the operation, including:
Officers also issued 23 interventions whilst on Op Tramline to road users who were falling short of the expected standards.
PC Sambrook, who was part of the operation, said: “Officers and local partners in Staffordshire are committed to championing road safety and ensuring we continue to minimise the opportunity for people to be killed or seriously injured as a result of negligence on our roads.
“Operation Tramline is one of the many ways we work alongside National Highways and other agencies to proactively police our roads and make sure motorists uphold the standards expected of them.”
The operation sees officers driving around in an unmarked HGV cab, owned by National Highways, who spot road traffic offences in real time. These offences are then radioed to police who then pull-over the suspect drivers and deal with the offences.
It also follows the National Police Chief Council’s roads policing strategy for 2022 to 2025 which is designed to influence public behaviour to improve road safety and to stop those committing criminal offences on our roads.
RPU Inspector Mark Joynson said: “We’ve seen first-hand the devastating effects that road traffic offences can have as well as the disruption that can be caused to emergency services if roads are disrupted or blocked by negligent drivers.
“In some cases, offenders do not admit or recognise their negligence, particularly if they have developed bad habits over time such as travelling above the speed limit or not indicating at junctions.”
“It’s one of the many reasons why it’s so vital that we continue to educate drivers on the importance of road traffic safety and take appropriate enforcement action where necessary.
National Highways Assistant Regional Safety Coordinator, Marie Biddulph, said: “We provide these unmarked HGV cabs to our police partners to help spot unsafe driving behaviour. It isn’t about catching people out, it’s about stopping drivers putting themselves and others at risk.
“A good day for us would be a day where no incidents of unsafe driving were recorded - we want people to be safe on our roads.
“From the elevated position in our HGV cabs, police can identify that small minority of people who continue to drive unsafely. We hope the realisation of this fact will make all motorists consider their driving behaviour.”
To read more on the #PhoneFree campaign which launched recently, visit: #PhoneFree | Staffordshire Police
To find out more about National Highways and what you can do to stay safe on the motorway, visit: https://highwaysengland.co.uk/road-safety/driving-on-motorways/