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Major roads policing operation to prevent fatalities begins this bank holiday weekend

Last modified: 31 March 2021 at 03:49pm

Police are launching a major roads policing operation in a bid to prevent anyone being killed on the roads this bank holiday weekend.

Officers say we have the ‘perfect storm’ for serious collisions, with a huge surge in traffic due to fairer weather, the long weekend, the easing of some lockdown rules and motorists’ skills going ‘rusty’ during lockdown.

Motorists will notice a strong police presence as extra traffic units are deployed to key areas, including villages and rural routes.

The operation will use marked police cars and motorbikes and highly-visible safety camera vehicles will cover as many locations as possible. Unmarked police vehicles will also be used.

It comes amid concerns from residents in many North Yorkshire villages about speeding drivers and motorcyclists making their communities unsafe.

Police will be actively enforcing all motoring offences, including:

  • Speeding, especially in villages and on A-roads that are typically affected by a large volume of speeding vehicles
  • Drink and drug driving
  • Dangerous driving or riding, such as overtaking on double white lines
  • Vehicle defects or illegal/uninsured modifications. This will include illegal number plates and exhausts, which will now be tested at the roadside with official equipment to ensure they are within legal noise levels
  • Document offences, such as not having insurance, tax or the correct driving licence
  • Perverting the course of justice offences, when motorists obscure or re-angle their rear numberplate to try to avoid detection. This can carry a prison sentence.

Police will use a range of powers to enforce the law, including traffic offence reports, vehicle seizures and vehicle prohibition notices, which mean a defective or illegally-modified vehicle cannot be used until it is approved by a qualified mechanic.

Covid offences, such as groups of more than six people from different households, will also be addressed.

Traffic Sergeant Pete Stringer, who is leading the operation and will be patrolling Craven with his team, said: “Fairer weather, the bank holiday weekend and the easing of some lockdown rules all mean much more traffic on our roads, especially leisure traffic.

“Unfortunately, we know this is the ‘perfect storm’ for more casualties and fatalities. Many bikers and drivers haven’t used their vehicles much during the past year so skills may be rusty, which further increases the risk.

“That’s why we’re launching a significant roads policing operation to reduce the risk of fatal collisions.

“We know many residents who live near busy roads are backing us one hundred per cent in our efforts to keep their communities safe and crack down on anti-social and illegal road use.

“Our message to motorists is simple – we’re not here to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of North Yorkshire and its fantastic roads. But we are here to keep people alive and enforce the law, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing this bank holiday weekend and throughout the summer.”

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