Police target excessive speed

FRom Devon and Cornwall Police:

Excessive speed is one of the Fatal Five top contributory factors to deaths and serious injuries on UK roads because collisions where speed is a factor have a disproportionately high rate of fatalities associated with them. I noticed this on the A39 towards Barnstaple only yesterday, where people were speeding, then cutting in as the road narrowed, thereby slowing down all the traffic because their journey was more important than anyone else’s.

For two weeks from 14 – 27 January Devon and Cornwall Police and partner agencies will be targeting drivers who selfishly endanger other road users and themselves by speeding, as will police forces across the UK in support of a campaign led by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

There is no excuse for excessive speed when driving, either breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for the road conditions, but that doesn’t stop drivers who are pulled over from offering them.

The highlights from the Alliance Roads Policing team’s activity in the first week of 2019 alone (see photo montage) supplied the following gems:

  • Keeping up with the flow of traffic” when having just overtaken an unmarked police car and everything else (92mph)
  • “My cat is sick” (91mph, with children in the car)
  • “In a rush to get to my girlfriend’s house” (101mph)
  • “Didn’t realise I was going that fast” (100mph)
  • “Chatting and distracted” (94mph)

Far from just handing out “speeding tickets”, dependent on the severity of each offence drivers may receive penalty points on their licence and a fine, or they may have the option of attending a speed awareness course in which case those penalties will not apply.

In extreme cases of excessive speed, they may face a day in court which could result in a driving ban.

Operations will be carried out across Devon and Cornwall on arterial routes and A roads, and in areas where concerns have been raised about speeding through towns and communities.

Devon and Cornwall Police will deploy the No Excuse team and the Alliance and Alliance Specials Roads Policing teams, working with the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership (PRSP) which operates static and mobile speed safety cameras.

In a separate announcement, the PRSP has warned drivers that speed enforcement warning signs are not a legal requirement to validate the results of an operation.

Marcus Laine, Operations Manager for the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership: “In future, we may operate for short periods without using camera warning signs at sites which have been assessed locally as needing intervention, and require us to deploy in the short term.

“If the site continues to be used the partnership will consider adding camera warning signs to further improve compliance.”

A fuller statement about this will be available on the PRSP website next week.

Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, is the national lead for road safety for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.

A survey run by her office last month showed that the public overwhelming supported tougher penalties for drivers who flout the law.

She said: “The new No Excuse roads policing team, coupled with the partnership’s work, means speeding drivers are less likely to be able to get away with endangering their lives and the lives of others.

“In 2017, the last year for which there are figures, there were 1,616 reported accidents in Devon and Cornwall and 63 deaths on our roads, this is simply unacceptable.

“I think it’s absolutely right that the mobile speed cameras can appear without warning anywhere on our roads – whether they be major routes or smaller rural locations where we know a disproportionate number of serious collisions occur.

“The simple message to drivers is that if you don’t want to be penalised for speeding, stay within the limits.”

The Fatal Five are the five main causes of serious injuries and deaths on the region’s roads.

  1. Inappropriate or excessive speed
  2. Not wearing a seat belt
  3. Driver distractions including using mobile devices such as phones, ‘sat navs’ and tablets
  4. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  5. Careless and inconsiderate driving

More information about how we can all help to make our roads safer can be found in the Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance booklet “A Guide to Safer Roads” which can be found online here:


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