Police summer road safety campaign nets thousands of offenders

By Barrie Hudson - 6 September 2023


Wiltshire Police has announced the end of its summer road safety campaign.

The force says that over the past month it has made road safety a focus through enforcement and intensive awareness-raising, focusing predominantly on the 'fatal five' offences which contribute to serious collisions:  speeding, drink and drug driving, using a phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt and careless and dangerous driving.

The campaign was launched following a large number of fatal and serious injury collisions on Wiltshire roads.

In August alone, the Roads Policing Unit (RPU) have issued 612 notices for offences including speeding, mobile phone use and not wearing seatbelts. During the month, they also made 68 arrests for drink or drug driving. 

Over the whole summer period, there have been 2,788 notices for motoring offences issued by the RPU.

Acting Inspector Will Ayres said: “News of any death on our roads is completely devastating especially for those closest to the person involved, but when you know the death could have been prevented it really is heart-breaking, so we’ve spent the past month raising awareness amongst drivers of the fatal five offences and how important it is to give the road your full attention at all times.

“Officers have done a really fantastic job patrolling some of our collision hotspots and targeting those drivers who fail to abide by the law. 

"It’s easy to become complacent when getting behind the wheel of a car as it’s something we do every day, but if we can change people’s attitudes then we will make our roads a safer place to be.”

Most of the fatalities this year have occurred on the M4, A303, A338, A360, A3102 and A4.

In conjunction with Highways England, the RPU also carried out Operation Tramline on the M4 on nine days in August, with 129 offences detected from the cab of an unmarked lorry.

Acting Inspector Ayres said: “As roads policing officers, road safety is our number one priority every day of the year, but this month has seen us intensify our resources and clamp down on those drivers who fail to abide by the law. 

"We know what it is like to have to deliver a death message to a family following a fatal collision, and we know how it can impact such a huge number of people, and that is why we feel so passionate about raising awareness about road safety, especially the fatal five offences.

“We’ve used a variety of tactics to identify offenders including the use of the unmarked HGV and an unmarked mini bus.

“Although the campaign is over, we will continue with our work to improve road safety in Wiltshire and would urge all drivers to keep the fatal five offences in the forefront of their minds when driving.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “Nationally, we saw a record number of drivers appearing in court accused of speeding last year and road safety is an issue which is highlighted to me as I speak to residents across Wiltshire and Swindon.

“Campaigns like this, and the combined efforts of our specialist Roads Policing Unit, Community Speed Enforcement Officers and Community Speed Watch teams, are important to show that we will robustly target those drivers who fail to abide by the rules on our roads.

“Speeding, driving under the influence of drink or drugs or with a mobile phone in your hand, puts the lives of passengers and the wider public in total jeopardy.

“My Police and Crime Plan prioritises road safety through a combination of education, deterrence and enforcement. This is why we need to ensure safer roads for all - where communities can carry on with the peace of mind that dangerous drivers are being caught and swift action is being taken.”


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