Countywide – Commercial vehicle operation
Police in Suffolk stopped over 50 vehicles and detected more than 60 offences as part of a roads policing operation targeting commercial vehicles.
The initiative began at the start of last week (Monday 15 March), and ran until Sunday 21 March, coinciding with a nationwide campaign led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
As part of the operation officers from the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, Road Casualty Reduction Team and Suffolk Commercial Vehicle Unit, carried out extra patrols in both marked and unmarked vehicles, concentrating on offences committed by commercial vehicle drivers.
Officers conducted checks across the strategic road network with enforcement taking place along the A14 and A11.
A total of 56 vehicles were stopped, including 30 HGVs and 26 smaller goods vehicles. A total of 63 Offences were detected, which included:
• 7 x Overweight loads
• 2 x Drivers not in proper control
• 2 x Using a mobile phone
• 17 x Failing to wear seatbelts
• 2 x Insecure loads
• 12 x Driving without required breaks
• 11 x Carriage of dangerous goods offences
• 1 x Vehicle defects
• 5 x Construction and use offences
• 1 x Careless driving
• 2 x Trailer offences
• 1 x Immigration transportation offence
Temporary Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, from the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: "This was a very successful week of enforcement activity with a number of commercial vehicle drivers being dealt with for various offences including vehicle defects, insecure loads, failing to wear a seatbelt and using a mobile phone whilst driving.
"It is extremely disappointing to see a number of drivers being dealt with for the fatal four offences which include speeding, driving without a seatbelt, driving whilst using a mobile phone and drink or drug driving. As we continue to reiterate, these offences increase the chance of being involved in a serious or even fatal collision.
"These campaigns give us the opportunity to target drivers who are putting not only their own safety at risk, but also the safety of other road users at risk and we will continue to take enforcement action against anyone who is flouting the law.”
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: “I am delighted to see our new commercial vehicle unit involved in this national campaign.
"This targeted roads policing unit was funded by the policing precept increase to last year’s council tax and it has had tremendous success to date.
“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. Events such as this day of action show just how important this enforcement is."
Traffic Offence Reports were issued as part of this year’s campaign, which could result in fines and/or points on drivers’ licences. Those with existing points risk losing their licence completely.