Officers from the East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOpSS) caught more than forty drivers without seatbelts during a four day operation in the East Midlands.
Police officers patrolled the motorway and A1 in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire in an unmarked HGV ‘tractor unit’ as part of the ongoing Fatal 4 campaign, which targets drink-driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone at the wheel.
EMOpSS officers in unmarked and marked vehicles stayed in radio contact with the officers in the HGV and pulled over motorists who were seen from the height of the tractor unit committing one of the fatal four offences.
A total of 41 vehicles were stopped. The results are;
• Wednesday 15 March (A1 corridor between Lincolnshire and Rutland) - 10 lorries stopped, 9 for not wearing a seatbelt, 1 for a mobile phone offence
• Thursday 16 March ( M1 corridor Leicestershire) - 12 lorries and 1 car stopped, 11 seat belt offences, 2 mobile phone offences
• Friday 17 March (M1 corridor in Nottinghamshire) - 12 lorries, 2 cars and 1 van, 14 seatbelt offences, 1 mobile phone offence
• Saturday 18 March (A1 corridor between Lincolnshire and Rutland) - 3 lorries stopped, 3 seatbelt offences
PC Brian Avann (pictured), a Tactical Roads Policing Team (TRPT) officer said; “'The HGV gives us an ideal viewing platform to observe drivers' actions from a high vantage point. I am disappointed that so many professional drivers continue to drive without a seatbelt. Just because the driver is high up in a lorry cab does not mean they are safe and we want to encourage all lorry drivers to use their seatbelt every time they get in the cab. The aim of our campaign is to improve driver behaviour and make our road network a safer place for everyone.”
The HGV tractor unit is owned by Highways England and is used by police forces across the country and will be used again in the East Midlands in the future. The penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is a £100 fine and for driving while using a mobile phone it is a £200 fine and six points on the driving license.