'Zero tolerance' Essex roads campaign

A NEW “zero tolerance” road safety campaign was launched in Essex yesterday - and had immediate results.

Elliot Furniss

A NEW “zero tolerance” road safety campaign was launched in Essex yesterday - and had immediate results.

The aim of the campaign is to clamp down on dangerous and irresponsible driving and of 422 drivers stopped yesterday, for a number of reasons, six were arrested.

Throughout the day, 34 vehicles were seized around Chelmsford and motorists have now been warned that over the next few months they are less likely to get away with careless and anti-social driving on the roads.

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The campaign, led by the Essex Casualty Reduction Board (ECRB), will see a significant increase in police enforcement activity across Essex to cut the number of KSI accidents - those where people are killed or seriously injured.

The ECRB involves Essex County Council and Essex Police and yesterday the force's Inspector Keith Whiting explained that roadside checks were one of the most effective ways of uncovering criminal activity.

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He said: “We know that when we step up road policing activity, including the use of unmarked vehicles, we achieve a significant reduction in the number of crashes and casualties.

“Often people driving defective vehicles, or without road tax and insurance, are also committing other offences. During a similar campaign last year, the 'other offences' we detected included arresting burglars and other people involved in criminal activity.”

He said the increased enforcement would continue throughout 2008 on routes where a high number of crashes and casualties are recorded and spot checks could take place in any town.

Last year Essex saw 884 KSI accidents on its roads, down from nearly 1170 in 2003, and Norman Hume, chairman of the ECRB, said he was hoping to see that figure fall again this year.

He said: “We're telling drivers about this campaign to give them every opportunity to drive safely and within the law, and thereby avoid a fine and points on their licence - or worse.

“Particular attention will be paid to motorists who are speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a seat belt, using a mobile phone and generally not paying attention to the road”

“There appears to be a trend in motorcycle accidents and incidents and we will also be focusing our efforts on educating riders and enforcing the law.”

Of the four people arrested, one failed a breath test, one was found to already be disqualified from driving, and the remaining four were held for non-driving related offences.

Twenty-three cars were seized by the police as the drivers had no insurance while the DVLA took away another 11 as they had not been taxed.

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