Drivers Off To Court After Roads Policing Operation In East Devon

Officers from the Rural East Devon Neighbourhood Team were in prominent locations in laybys on the A35 and the A3052, both high harm routes which have suffered many serious collisions and are subject to rural and cross border crime.

Rural East Devon police officers conducted a joint operation with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency and colleagues from the No Excuses roads policing team earlier this month aimed at targeting rural crime and unroadworthy vehicles.

Officers from the Rural East Devon Neighbourhood Team were in prominent locations in laybys on the A35 and the A3052, both high harm routes which have suffered many serious collisions and are subject to rural and cross border crime.

As a result of the operation, eight drivers were reported to court for offences ranging from dangerous driving to having no MOT or not wearing a seatbelt. Three vehicles were prohibited by Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency until the drivers can take a further MOT test. Following further investigations five vehicles were searched under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act and one was searched under the Police & Criminal Evidence Act in order to locate stolen goods with ten people also searched under the same act.

Another person was searched for items linked to an offence and police also witnessed a group of six bikers overtaking a lorry which caused the unmarked police vehicle to brake drastically to avoid a collision. Police spoke to the group about the manner of their driving. Another driver was also spotted using their mobile phone while a different motorist was reported for driving without insurance.

The operation also visited Tesco car park on Harbour Road, Seaton, after police had received complaints of anti-social driving. Vehicles were stopped for either a routine inspection or after an offence was spotted by officers in unmarked police vehicles.

A driver decided to show off his sports car by taking off at speed down Royal Observer Way in Seaton, where he was met by officers who provided him with a vehicle examination and a warning under Section 59 Police Reform Act 2002.

This means if he drives that vehicle or any other in the same manner during the next 12 months, it will be seized. A number of local car enthusiasts were also spoken with, had their vehicles examined and were provided with advice around acceptable driving behaviour.

PC Craig Amarilli, Neighbourhood Beat Manager for the Seaton Police Team, said:

“These operations are all about education, engagement and enforcement. The engagement with drivers and riders was fantastic and, as a result, we did not have a single incident of conflict over the weekend. These results highlight that Rural east Devon area requires constantly varied and functional policing which we will continue to display by repeating operations such as this in the future. We hope that local motorists and visitors to this part of Devon will drive carefully and stay safe.”

The #NoExcuses campaign was developed to highlight some of the most unbelievable reasons given by drivers for committing one of the ‘fatal five’ offences by motorists travelling on the roads of Devon and Cornwall.

There are five main causes of serious injuries and deaths on the region’s roads – known as the ‘fatal five’:

Excess or inappropriate speed

Not wearing a seatbelt

Driving using your mobile phone

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Careless or inconsiderate driving

Devon & Cornwall Police are part of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership project which aims to stop serious and fatal road traffic collisions in the two counties.

Natalie Warr, manager of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership, added: “Through detailed analysis, these roads have been designated as high harm routes by our tactical tasking group and will be subject to increased safety and enforcement efforts.

“In 2021, 47 people were killed and 647 seriously injured on Devon and Cornwall’s roads. Working together, we are determined to reduce the number of fatal and serious collisions by half by 2030.”

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