DERBYSHIRE: Police keep children safe with vehicle checks

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A COUNTYWIDE operation to check the safety of vehicles used to take children to and from schools has helped to remove seven that were not roadworthy.

Operation Coachman has been run for the last month with a total of 70 vehicles checked outside schools across Derbyshire.

Officers from Derbyshire Constabulary, together with staff from Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) took part in the checks.

Taxis, coaches and buses used to transport children were examined to check they were roadworthy and on the road legally, helping to ensure passenger safety.

The checks were part of Operation Coachman, a co-ordinated national campaign to ensure the safety of child passengers and reduce collisions.

Of the 70 vehicles checked, 12 were found to have defects and seven of those were taken off the road immediately.

The faults included seatbelts not working properly, a loose door and rusting on some of the vehicles. Around 50 per cent fewer defects were found this year compared to last year’s checks and the defects found

were less serious.

Checks were carried out at Alfreton Grange, Alfreton; Hope Valley College, Hope; The Peak School, Chinley; John Houghton School, Ilkeston; Tupton Hall School, Clay Cross; St Andrew’s School, Derby; John Port School, Etwall, and St Giles’ School, Derby.

The final checks were carried out on Friday, March 15 at St Giles’ School and John Port School.

Chief Inspector Steve Wilson, head of Roads Policing in Derbyshire, said: “The checks took place as part of a national campaign but also as part of our ongoing efforts to improve driving standards and vehicle maintenance; to ensure the safety of children travelling to and from school.

“We are pleased that fewer faults were found compared to last year’s checks, which shows road safety standards are improving.

“Further checks will be made throughout the year and I would urge all drivers to regularly check that their vehicles are roadworthy.”