Police pull over 50 motorists for not wearing seatbelts

Almost 50 motorists have been stopped for not wearing a seatbelt or for using their mobile phone while driving following a road safety check in Ashbourne.

They were found during the latest Operation Safedrive day, a partnership campaign to ensure drivers are road safe and legal. The checks place on Friday, February 17 at Ashbourne Fire Station on Park Road, thanks to the support of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, who are the lead on road safety.

During the checks the team, which included police officers and PCSOs from both CREST (Casualty Reduction and Enforcement Support Team) and the areas local Safer Neighbourhood policing teams, issued a mixture of warnings and fixed penalty notices to:

44 drivers for seatbelt offences

14 for driving while using a mobile phone

11 people for driving vehicles with tyre defects

2 motorists were asked to remove their vehicles window tinting because it was found to be below legal visibility levels.

1 for number plate offences

1 motorist for their manner of driving

Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant Steve Edwards said: “The main aim of Operation Safedrive is to make drivers more aware of the consequences of driving dangerously and to make vehicles safer for all road users.

“People really need to be aware of the serious risks they are taking if they don’t wear a seat belt or use a mobile phone when they should be giving their full attention to the road.”

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) also examined vehicles for defects on vehicles which seriously affect their roadworthiness.

They issued three immediate and one delayed prohibition notices which mean drivers must have repairs carried out and their vehicle inspected at an MOT centre before they can legally drive on the public highway.

In addition to the safety checks HM Revenue and Customs carried out fuel testing, to see if vehicles were running on red diesel or to identify special fuel dye which can be put into tanks to help prevent diesel thefts.

The haulage firm is one of the businesses who have signed up the campaign by the Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership to help reduce fuel thefts.

Sgt Edwards said: “During the tests a lorry from RD Geeson Ltd of Middleton by Wirksworth was stopped and found using the blue dye. The company signed up to the initiative earlier in the year and the fact that it was picked up by the testing shows how effective it could be in helping officers to identify stolen fuel.”

Other Dales companies who are using the dye include Tarmac who are based at Dene Quarry, Matlock, Bleaklow Industries at their Backdale Quarry at Longstone Edge and road haulage company K & H Bakewell Ltd.

During five hour long campaign, almost 3,000 vehicles passed through DVLA cameras which check to see if they are insured, taxed and have an up-to-date MOT test. Eleven were found without tax and positive action will be taken against their registered keepers.

Sgt Edwards added: “I would like to thank all the agencies who took part in the recent checks, which show our joint commitment to keeping our roads safe and helping prevent and reduce crime.”

Businesses interested in signing up to diesel dye scheme should contact Karen Cooper, Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Crime and Disorder Reduction Officer on 01629 761187 or email karen.cooper@derbyshiredales.gov.uk.

To contact your local Safer Neighbourhood policing team call 101, the non-emergency number for Derbyshire police, or visit the website: www.derbyshire.police.uk.