Bridgwater drivers targeted
Avon & Somerset Police have just published the results of a week long campaign in Bridgwater. Officers from their Tactical Support Team alongside Somerset Passenger Solutions. The operation was aimed at cracking down on road related offences in Bridgwater. Officers identified, engaged with and in some cases prosecuted drivers committing road traffic offences. This aims to stop behaviour which can lead to dangerous and inconsiderate driving.
Officers patrolled Bridgwater town centre in a double-decker bus provided by Somerset Passenger Solutions. It helped them get more of a birds eye view of drivers inside vehicles. An approach the Police have found especially effective to identify drivers using mobile phones whilst at the wheel.
The operation identified 32 road traffic offences being committed. Which resulted in 28 drivers being issued with a fine and/or penalty points and four drivers being summons to court.
The offences identified included:
- 13 driving without wearing a seatbelt
- Nine driving while using a mobile phone
- two driving without a valid driving licence
- four driving without insurance
- one driving whilst disqualified
- two driving without MOT
- one driving an untaxed vehicle
The range of offences is certainly varied and not surprising. Although it was a surprise to us at Leveller® Towers to see driving without a seatbelt at the top of the list. However it is the mobile phone issue that is currently at the top of Police priorities.
Nationally, there has been a worrying increase in motorists caught using their mobile phone whilst driving. A recent operation by the NPCC in February 2021 recorded the highest ever volume of offences since March 2017. Out of the 3,637 vehicles stopped during the operation 2,521 drivers were stopped for mobile phone offences. That’s 69% of all the vehicles stopped.
Chief Inspector Jason Shears, Roads Policing Lead for Avon & Somerset Police makes the point: “Using a mobile phone while driving isn’t just dangerous. It’s a complete disregard for the lives of other people you may be sharing the road with. Think teenagers on bicycles, elderly people crossing the roads, and young drivers who’ve just passed their test.”