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Commercial Vehicle Week

Police in Suffolk are supporting a nationwide enforcement campaign focusing on vehicles used for businesses and trades and with the ultimate aim of making roads safer. 

Commercial Vehicle Week is led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and began yesterday, Monday 18 July, ending on Sunday 24 July. 

As part of the operation officers from the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, Road Casualty Reduction Team and Suffolk Commercial Vehicle Unit will carry out extra patrols in both marked and unmarked vehicles concentrating on offences committed by all manner of commercial drivers, including those of lorries, vans, buses, plant vehicles, agricultural machinery and taxis. 

Officers will be conducting checks along the strategic road network with enforcement taking place along the A14, A12 and A11. 

As always, drivers committing fatal four offences will be targeted (drink/drug-driving; speeding; using a mobile phone; and not wearing a seatbelt), but with commercial vehicles there are a whole raft of other potential offences, including exceeding driver hours, insecure loads, overweight vehicles and dangerous loads.

The operation also provides opportunities to disrupt anyone using the road network for criminal purposes and to reinforce the message that Suffolk is a hostile environment for them to operate in. 

Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, Head of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “The primary focus of this operation is about making our roads safer for all users and ensuring drivers are complying with the law and their vehicles are safe. 

“Commercial vehicles account for a large percentage of the traffic on our roads and due to either their size (in the case of HGVs), or in many cases their loads, they have the potential to cause the most damage if they are involved in a collision.

“Whilst we will always seek to engage with and educate drivers in the first instance, those found to be committing offences will be dealt with in a robust manner. It is important that we deliver the key messages of road safety, but it is all about keeping everybody safe on our roads and sometimes we have to take stronger action to deliver that message.

“Every day our officers see first-hand the dangers posed by either poor driving or unroadworthy vehicles and our number one priority is to keep everyone safe and reduce collisions that result in people being seriously injured or killed.”

Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: "I am delighted to see this focus on commercial vehicles this week.

"Keeping our roads safe and the traffic moving is so important, particularly on the A14. The A14 is a vital national gateway to the Port of Felixstowe, the largest container port in the country, and we have a huge amount of commercial traffic which needs to be monitored for dangerous vehicles and driver offences.

"Our Commercial Vehicle Unit was funded by the policing precept of the council tax a couple of years ago and has had some tremendous results. The officers are doing a fantastic job."