Two arrested on suspicion of drug driving after police operation on A14 near Bury St Edmunds
Two people were arrested on suspicion of drug driving following a police operation targeting light goods and passenger carrying vehicles near Bury St Edmunds last week.
Operation Truck and Bus took place on Friday, May 18, with the aim to disrupt, deter and detect offences relating to all forms of vehicle-enabled criminality.
The primary focus of the operation was commercial vehicles as well as larger trucks transporting shipping containers.
Police said the operation also aimed to improve compliance with road safety legislation through observance of tachograph and driver hours regulations, and by removing unsafe vehicles from the road.
Officers were deployed to strategic locations on the A14 and surrounding roads with the intention of identifying and stopping vehicles suspected of any offences.
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The vehicles were then escorted back to the check site at Rougham Hill lorry park, where officers from Roads Policing and the Dog Unit, along with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) conducted further checks.
29 vehicles in total were brought to the check site, and the results of the inspections were as follows:
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- Two people arrested on suspicion of drug driving, following positive drug wipes for cannabis. This followed 17 scans by the passive drugs dog.
- Six Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) issued, one each for the offences of: using a mobile phone, not in proper control of the vehicle, dangerous condition (tinted windows), not wearing a seatbelt, an insecure load, and registration plate not conforming.
- Six Graduated Fixed Penalty Notices and fines totalling £1,200 issued for tachograph offences relating to heavy goods vehicles, for failing to take sufficient daily rest and failing to take sufficient driving breaks. One vehicle has been immobilised until the fine is paid.
- Two vehicles stopped for Carriage of Dangerous Goods, with one prohibition for an insecure load, one given advice relating to paperwork issues.
- All 29 vehicles had their tanks dipped by HMRC officers, with no offences found.
Inspector Chris Hinitt, from the joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: “This was a positive day of action and a great example of multi-agency working, the primary aim of which is to continue to make our roads safe for all users – including the drivers we stopped on the day.
“It was pleasing that the majority of vehicles brought back to the check site were generally in good condition and most of the offences or defects detected were minor ones.
“However, the two arrests for drug-driving display that people are still willing to risk the lives of other road users as well as their own, as were the six penalty notices issued for tachograph offences, which is particularly frightening when they are in charge of such large vehicles.
“We will continue to hold these operations, which alongside our everyday work, help to raise awareness of road safety in general and the ‘fatal four’ main causes of fatal or serious road traffic collisions, which are: drink/drug driving; speeding; using a mobile phone; and not wearing a seatbelt.”
Tim Passmore, police and crime commissioner for Suffolk, said: “I am a great supporter of these proactive multi-agency enforcement days.
“Keeping the people of Suffolk safe on the county’s roads is a key element of my police and crime plan and these operations play an important part in this commitment.
“I am particularly pleased to see that the drugs wipes - funded by the RoadSafe Board - are being put to good use, identifying drug drivers on the roadside.
“Sadly the message is not getting through to all drivers that driving under the influence of drugs is illegal and potentially deadly. I hope the publicity around these days of actions will make these drivers realise if they flout the law they stand a good chance of being caught. Well done to everyone involved.”