THE METROPOLITAN POLICE and Transport for London worked together in the last week of January on Operation Safeway – cracking down on dangerous driving. The joint operation saw over 1,500 people being stopped for traffic offences.
The operation coincided with the National Police Chief’s Mobile Phone week of Action, which set out to apprehend drivers who were using their mobile while driving – to make calls, send and read texts and for other purposes.
A total of 25 people were arrested. Five arrests were for drink or drug related driving offences, with the other arrests including people suspected of driving while disqualified, assault, drug and immigration offences.
Of the people stopped, 636 drivers were on suspicion of using a mobile phone while driving. This offences can led to a £200 fine and six points on the offender’s licence. Research has shown that drivers who are using a mobile are four times more likely to have an accident – with those who are texting while driving being 23 times more likely to have an accident. The police hope that the drivers stopped during the week will now be put off using their mobile behind the wheel – making their own lives safer, as well as keeping the streets safer for the rest of us.
Commander Neil Jerome, who is part of the Territorial Policing Command, said, “The Met is working hard to reduce collisions and the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads.
“Throughout our week of action, traffic officers made several arrests and issued a substantial amount of fines against non-compliant motorists who unlawfully used hand-held mobile devices while driving, or committed other road offences which posed a very real danger to themselves, other drivers and pedestrians.
“This operation was about reminding all road users of the importance of keeping themselves safe while driving. I hope our policing activity achieved just that and motorists can certainly expect to see us carrying out similar operations throughout the year to ensure they are concentrating on safe driving.”
The Metropolitan Police has a Roads and Transport Policing Command which works all year round on keeping road and surface transport safe. Reducing the number of collisions is a high priority for them – which they do by targeting dangerous drivers. They carry out cycle safety events and target operators of freight and/or construction vehicles which may be presenting a hazard to pedestrians
The RTPC is also responsible for investigating the most serious collisions, for responding to collisions or breakdowns at tunnels and then managing the situation when there is an incident on London’s roads which may hold up traffic. Their routine work has clearly been given a boost by this special safety week.