Night time crackdown on illegal driving

ROGUE motorists were pulled off the road by traffic police as part of a major crackdown on illegal driving.

Laurence Cawley

ROGUE motorists were pulled off the road by traffic police as part of a major crackdown on illegal driving.

The enforcement action carried out by officers on Friday and Saturday was the fifth of its type held in west Suffolk in recent months.

Operation Guardian targets motorists flouting traffic rules and police stopped as many vehicles as possible in order to detect offences and increase public knowledge of safe driving practices.

Previous operations have been held during the day - but this time 35 officers worked through the night to catch those breaking the law.

The operation started in Stowmarket before moving into Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket, where the action finished at about 1am on Saturday.

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Officers focused their efforts on drink drivers and those using mobile telephones or not wearing seatbelts.

Chief inspector Neal Atwell said: “In the run up to Christmas we expect much more traffic on Suffolk's roads during the evenings as people head out to parties, late-night shopping and to celebrate the festive season, and the temptation may be there to have a couple of drinks and drive home.

“This latest Operation Guardian day supports the national and countywide Christmas drink-drive campaign, and whilst we will be stopping anyone committing traffic offences, officers will be concentrating on enforcing the law around driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Drivers who offend in any manner make the roads dangerous for everyone - by using a mobile phone whilst driving, drinking and driving or speeding, you're not properly in control of the vehicle and it only takes a second to cause a collision and do some serious damage, to something or someone. That one drink or phone call could spoil Christmas for you or another road user.

“The team of officers will be passing on advice on safer driving as well as giving out fixed penalty notices to those caught breaking the law. Sadly we continue to find that many drivers are still committing these offences, without thought for the danger they are putting themselves and other road users in. Anyone found to be driving over the limit will spend the night in the cells and will be put before the court.”

Operation Guardian was carried out as part of Suffolk Roadsafe, a group of agencies who come together with the aim of making the county's roads safer through education, enforcement and publicity.

It combines Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Safecam, the Highways Agency and the East of England Ambulance Service.

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