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Astonishing comments from offending drivers continue

The ‘no excuse’ team remains committed to making Dorset’s roads safer and improving the habits of bad and inconsiderate drivers – despite being astounded by some of the comments they hear from offending motorists.

The ‘no excuse’ team processed a further 957 offences in March 2012 which brings the total number of offences processed so far this year – from 1 January to 31 March 2012 – to 4,067.

A total of 2,079 of these offences were detected by safety cameras and 1,988 were officer issued tickets.

Of the 1,988 officer issued tickets, a total of 250 were for distraction offences such as using a mobile phone, taking photos and using an iPod while driving.

Officers, once again, have been left astounded by some of the comments and excuses given by offending motorists.

A man in Poole was stopped for using his mobile phone while driving. He stated the obvious, as he said: “Well I wouldn’t have used my mobile if I knew there were policemen in an unmarked car behind me.”

A woman was stopped on Poole Lane in the Kinson area of Bournemouth for driving at 42 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone.

She had only had her licence back since September 2011 after completing a six month ban for totting up offences and reaching 12 points. Since completing her ban, she has received three points on her licence for speeding and has two further speeding offences pending prosecution.

Her only comment to the officers was: “The use of the laser in an unmarked car to catch people is criminal.” It isn’t, but breaking the speed limit is.

A young man was stopped by officers on Chickerell Road in Weymouth for riding his motorcycle at 42 miles per hour. He thought it was unfair that the police positioned themselves at the bottom of a hill because his bike goes faster downhill.

Officers observed a male standing by the side of a road in Bridport, waiting for his lift. It arrived at 53 miles per hour. Despite being caught driving at over 50 miles per hour, the driver said: “Sorry I thought it was a 40 miles per hour zone.”

A woman in the Purbecks denied to officers that she was using her mobile phone while driving. She said that she was eating a prawn cracker and she didn’t have a phone with her. She provided her mobile number to the officer when asked.

The officer rang the number and, unsurprisingly to the officer, the woman’s phone rang in the car. The lady immediately apologised and offered the officer a prawn cracker. She was issued with a ticket accordingly.

One male driver stopped in Swanage for not wearing his seatbelt said that his wife was always keeping on at him about it. He also said that with new laws like the seatbelt one, it takes a while for it to sink in – the officer informed the driver that the seatbelt law came into effect in 1982.

A driver stopped in Poole travelling at 50 miles per hour in a 40 miles per hour zone said: “I’m on my way to an eyesight test and didn’t see the speed limit sign.”

One lady stopped travelling at 44 miles per hour on Littlemoor Road in Weymouth said that she was just keeping up with the flow of traffic. She changed her defence when the officer pointed out that she was the only car on the road.

Brian Austin, ‘no excuse’ Project Manager, said: “We are continually amazed at the thought process of some of the bad and inconsiderate drivers on Dorset’s roads. 

“Although the ‘no excuse’ message is widely known in Dorset, nationally and even internationally, we still have drivers travelling on our roads that show time and again that they have no concern for other road users and pedestrians.

“The Dorset Road Safe partners will continue to make full use of the ‘no excuse’ team, traffic officers, safer neighbourhood teams, safety camera vans and the responsible drivers using our roads to catch those that think the law does not apply to them.

“With the covert use of safety camera vans, cars and bikes, technology like the Concept Lasers – which are now detecting mobile phone, speed and seatbelt offences at a distance of over 400 metres – intelligence led deployments and the increased reporting of bad or dangerous driving by concerned members of the public, we will together make a difference in Dorset.”

The ‘no excuse’ team is part of the Dorset Road Safe partnership’s casualty reduction campaign. It is made up of police officers using marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles and is supported by safety camera vans.

Brian Austin continued: “Academic studies have shown that slowed reactions caused by the distraction of using a mobile phone whilst driving are similar to those driving at the drink drive limit.

“Up to a quarter of those killed on Dorset’s roads in the past two years have been as a consequence of drink driving.

“A child hit by a car at 30 miles per hour has a reasonable chance of survival, but hit at 40 miles per hour there is little chance of survival.”

ISSUED: April 2012

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