More than 200 motorists find out there is 'no excuse'
More than 200 motorists were caught committing motoring offences during the Poole Surround a Town event yesterday – Wednesday, 23 November 2011.
The event, which was run by Dorset Road Safe partner organisations, formed part of the ‘no excuse’ project and resulted in 227 traffic offences being detected in Poole throughout the day.
The motorists not wearing seatbelts were offered the opportunity to attend educational courses on the day, with the majority of drivers committing other offences being offered courses at a later date rather than receiving points, fines or court appearances.
Of the 227 offences, 110 were issued by traffic officers, with the remaining 117 offences being for speeding offences that were detected by safety camera vans.
More than 45% (49 offenders) of the offences detected by officers were for drivers not wearing a seatbelt, and of those 88% (43 offenders) took the opportunity to attend a seatbelt awareness presentation held at the LV=Streetwise Centre. By agreeing to take part, these drivers avoided having to pay a £60 fine.
One of the drivers detected not wearing a seatbelt attended the free seatbelt course and kindly showed her support by sending in the following email. Please note, this has been redacted for Data Protection compliance:
“I was stopped today by one of your police motor cycle team for not wearing my seat belt and was given the choice to attend a safety belt awareness talk, which I did!
“I wanted to say thank you to you all for the hard work you all put into making the public aware of the dangers of not wearing a seat belt.
“I went along to this talk at 10.30 today and was so impressed with the lady who spoke to us. She was so lovely and at no time made any of us feel uncomfortable. Please pass on my thanks to her and let her know she is doing a great job for the public.
“I work at [information removed] and I have been driving all the staff mad today about wearing their seatbelts!!
“This may sound a bit mad but I am glad I got stopped today because it has made me really think about the dangers on the road.”
Brian Austin, ‘no excuse’ Project Manager, said: “The Surround a Town events support our priority to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on Dorset’s roads through enforcement, education and publicity.
“Disappointingly, 26 drivers risked their lives and the lives of everyone around them by using their mobile phones whilst driving.
“This was an increase in the number of mobile phone offences detected in the last operation at Poole in July 2010, and all partners are determined to use all resources available to detect and process these unnecessary threats on our roads.
“One speeding motorist was caught driving at 102 miles per hour on the Dorset Way near Tower Park which has a speed limit of 50 miles per hour.
“The Automated Number Plate Recognition Spectrum Van also played a key role in detecting those drivers who consider that MOTs, Insurance and Excise Licences do not apply to them. The 10 motorists detected on the day found out these conditions do apply to them as well.”
As part of the day’s events, staff delivered the ‘Dying to Drive?’ and ‘Dying to Ride?’ presentations to sixth form students from Ashdown Technology College.
The students also took the opportunity to visit Dorset Road Safe’s ‘50/50 car’, which recently won a National Trading Standards award. This was based, along with colleagues from Poole Trading Standards and Dorset Fire & Rescue Service officers, at the ASDA store in Canford Heath.
Also, an impressive array of skilled professionals worked with over 300 very polite and enthusiastic children to give advice on cycle safety at Canford Heath Middle School.
Additionally Jason and James from the Cycle Sporting Group repaired and serviced any bicycles brought in by the children, free of charge.
To complete a full day of operations, road safety partners from Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole councils, along with fire officers, police officers, Driver Awareness Scheme instructors and colleagues from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, engaged with the public at the ASDA store in Canford Heath and the Dolphin Centre.
Large numbers of the public were able to ask for advice and guidance on a wide range of road safety issues at these locations, and gratefully took advantage of a large selection of information flyers, leaflets and “no excuse” promotional materials.
Chief Inspector Bob Nichols, Head of Dorset Police’s Traffic Unit, said: “Wednesday’s operation underlines the commitment of all the local agencies involved in the aftermath of serious and fatal collisions to seek similar reductions in casualties in Poole to those seen in the Dorset County Council area over the past 18 months.
“We will continue to detect those offences that contribute to collisions and support education over prosecution where appropriate.”
Martin Baker, Road Safety Manager at the Borough of Poole, said: “It was wonderful to see all our partners from across Dorset working together to help reduce casualties in Poole.
“I am encouraged that the amount of offences we are targeting are beginning to reduce but there remain a core of drivers who continue to flout the law.
“It is vital that we try and educate all motorists about the potential consequences associated with the way a minority continue to behave on our roads.”
Listed below are some details and excuses that enforcement officers witnessed from offending motorists during the Poole Surround a Town event yesterday:
- A man on Ringwood Road was caught using his mobile phone because his friend rang to wish him a happy birthday.
- One man caught on Ringwood Road for not wearing his seatbelt heard on the radio that the Surround a Town event was operating a few minutes before he ran into an enforcement team.
- A lady talking on her phone with it held in her hand believed that it was “hands free” as she was on speaker phone.
- One gentleman was flashed by the Safety Camera on Ringwood Road when, at the same time, he was observed by officers using his mobile phone.
- Three separate motorists drove past officers whilst wearing their seatbelt held under their arm rather than properly secured – they each received a ticket.
- One lady sought to excuse herself by telling officers that her recent cosmetic surgery made wearing a seatbelt too painful.