Police report 250 drivers in ‘staggering’ seat belt crackdown

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore with officers from Operation Wyken Picture: SUFF

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore with officers from Operation Wyken Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE - Credit: SUFFOLK POLICE

Officers from Suffolk and Norfolk police have reported 250 lorry drivers as part of a national crackdown on seat belt avoidance.

The two forces launched Operation Wyken once again last week, deploying an HGV tractor unit from Orwell Trucks in Martlesham, which allowed them to get a better view of offending lorry, van and car drivers.

The cab, driven by a police officer, was used during patrols on the A14, A11 and A47 and coincided with the National Police Chiefs’ Council two-week seat belt campaign from June 29 to July 12.

Between Monday, July 6 and Friday, July 10, the forces handed 250 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) to drivers for 280 offences. One man was also arrested on suspicion of drug driving.

Among the most common offences was those not wearing seat belts, with 168 people found flouting the law, while a further 19 were also found to be driving while using their mobile phone.

Others included dangerous driving and for exceeding maximum driving hours.

Acting chief inspector Gary Miller, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said the number of offences spotted were “staggering” and thanked Orwell Trucks for their support.

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Chief Insp Miller added: “Due to the physical height of commercial vehicles, it is often difficult for patrol officers to view into the cab and thereby detect offences, such as not wearing a seatbelt or using a mobile phone.

“The HGV cab provides officers with an ideal vantage point to spot drivers committing offences and provides us with another means to enforce the law with this specific group of road users, who due to the size of the vehicles they are in control of, pose an added risk to other motorists and also themselves if they are committing offences whilst driving.”

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, added: “I can’t believe that professional drivers can risk their lives, their livelihood and the lives of others, looking at their phones and not wearing seatbelts.

“I fully support the Constabulary’s campaign to crack down on irresponsible drivers who still refuse to buckle up whilst driving, but it amazes me that drivers should need to be reminded about something so obvious.

“Everyone knows you are more likely to die in a crash if you don’t wear a seat belt, so I just can’t

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