LIVE COVERAGE: Police operation targets motorists on A39 between Barnstaple and Bideford
A large police operation is taking place on a section of the A39 between Barnstaple and Bideford this afternoon.
The operation, conducted by Devon and Cornwall Police and supported by the fire service, will target speeding drivers, those not wearing seatbelts and those who are using mobile phones.
Police officers will be situated near the Rooks Bridge picnic area layby on the A39 and will be pulling over drivers who are driving inappropriately.
Motorists will be given the opportunity to be educated in a redundant educational fire engine parked at the scene in cases where it could be deemed a more effective solution than prosecution.
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Journal reporter Nicole Travers-Wakeford will be reporting live from the scene all afternoon.
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Inspector Andy Oliver said the operation had been successful. Check www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk tomorrow for a full report on the operation, including a list of the offences committed by motorists.
View photos from the operation by scrolling through the pictures above.
The young man is still in the layby and is sorting new insurance so that he can drive away legally.
A Torrington man in a Citroën Saxo has been pulled over at Rooks Bridge. A camera in the police car linked to a piece of kit called Automatic Number Plate Recognition alerted officers the driver may not have insurance. The lad, who is at university, did not realise his insurance had ran out. He said: "I have been driving nearly 4 years and this is the fist time I have been pulled over by police. It will never happen again. The officers explained everything to me." The young man will have a court summons and will more than likely be issued penalty points and a fine.
A man local to North Devon has been stopped because the front bumper was hanging off his silver Vauxhall car. Officers then found he had two bald tyres. He is currently changing his tyre in the roadside layby.
A 26 year-old-man driving a red van was stopped for having a dark tint on his passenger and driver windows. The man was not local to North Devon. Officer Stan Port said: "70 per cent of light has to pass through the window so you can have a clear view. This man's van had 28 per cent light coming through. He was given a £30 ticket which he can pay over the phone in the next 28 days."
A woman local to North Devon was stopped in a black Saab for using a mobile phone whilst driving. She was given a fixed penalty ticket which means she will get three points and a £60 fine. She admitted the offence.
A 34 year-old-man driving a silver Ford Fiesta was stopped on Bickington Road, Fremington. He was driving for about one mile using his mobile phone. The local man was given three penalty points and a £60 fine. Chris Davidson, DC Road Crime Unit Officer, said: "The driver was very apologetic and said he would buy a bluetooth set."
A blue car has been stopped by police and pulled into Rooks Bridge layby. A 61-year-old man sat in the back of the car was not wearing a seatbelt. There was another man and a woman in the car. The trio watched an educational video showing the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt. The video, which was shot in Ireland,showed a group of youngsters, who were not wearing seatbelts, involved in a car crash and subsequently killed as a result. An ex police officer and fire group community team member said: "The video is graphic. We use it as an educational tool in schools across North Devon with consent."
In a related part of the operation, officers are also conducting similar checks in various other parts of North Devon including the Fremington area.
A male driver in a red Honda Civic Type R has been pulled over into Rooks Bridge layby. Tint master was used to check if his windscreen was meeting legal requirements to let enough light in. Inspector Andy Oliver said: "In terms of distraction if you don't get 100 percent visibility anything which distracts the driver is dangerous." This was a routine stop check, the driver did not commit an offence.
Inspector Andy Oliver said there are 4 aspects which could cause fatalities when driving. He said: "The fatal four are excess and inappropriate speeding, drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt and distractions such as a using a mobile phone."
Jan Rahim who has owned Jan's Diner at Rook's Bridge layby for one year says: "It is nice to see the police here. Very good that the police are working to make our roads safer."
Inspector Andy Oliver has just given briefing on today's operation. He said the primary focus is on harm reduction on the roads and community reassurance. The second focus is to pick up any criminality.
There is an educational fire engine and a number of police vehicles at the scene. Officers are congregating and having a cup of tea to warm up before the operation commences.
Heading down to the scene with Inspector for North and West Devon, Andy Oliver.
Inspector Andy Oliver, from North Devon Police, said the operation aimed at targeting the four main causes of fatal and serious injury collisions, including:
- Excess/inappropriate speed
- Drink/drug driving
- Failure to wear seat belts
- Driver distractions such as using mobile phones whilst driving
He said: “The public expect and deserve to feel safe on our roads. We are targeting the four main causes of fatal and serious injury collisions.
“Often drivers do not consider their actions to be unlawful or dangerous until they get stopped and prosecuted or cause a serious collision, after which it is too late and the lives of families and loved ones become affected forever.
“Through enforcement and the offer of nationally recognised education opportunities we are working towards a position of ‘habitual compliance’ for Road Traffic legislation to reduce harm on our roads and to make communities feel safer.”
Devon and Cornwall Police’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) team will also be at the scene and will be checking vehicles for other offences.
Chief Inspector Toby Davies said the aim of the operation was to reduce harm on North Devon roads.
He said: “Too many lives have been lost unnecessarily on our North Devon roads due to one or a combination of these factors.
“It is right that we are focusing our attention on poor driving and initiatives such as this will become more common place as we strive to reduce the risk of harm on our roads”.