Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, has taken part in a road safety day, following enforcement teams, meeting partners, members of the public and businesses in the local area.
Martyn shadowed the Dorset Police No Excuse Team during their ‘surround a town’ event which took place in Shaftesbury. The team were set up to tackle the “fatal five” issues of speeding, using a mobile phone at the wheel, careless driving, drink/drug driving and not wearing a seatbelt. The team also target uninsured motorists who are responsible for injuring 23,000 people nationally every year and killing 160 people on the roads.
Andrew Kerby, North Dorset District Councillor and part of the Police & Crime Panel joined the Commissioner on the visit to observe first hand, the work of the No Excuse team.
During the day, officers seized seven vehicles for no insurance, offered a free seatbelt education course to 23 people (instead of giving the £100 fine) and dealt with 27 vehicles for offences such as using a mobile phone at the wheel and not having a valid MOT. The safety camera team also detected 159 people travelling over 36mph in a 30mph zone.
Members of the team also set up a stand at Tesco, to engage with shoppers, whilst some of the Driver Awareness Team gave road safety tips to kids at Shaftesbury School.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill said, “The surround a town event in Shaftesbury was an excellent way to broadcast the various initiatives being undertaken across Dorset to keep people safe on the roads. The results of the day show that every area in our County is affected by poor road safety decisions by motorists and we must do everything we can to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. A driver is more likely to have an accident on a rural road rather than a motorway so it is vital we not only enforce the law but also educate and inform the rural driving public.”
Brian Austin, Dorset Police Road Safety Operations Manager said, “It was a very productive day, lots of good education messages passed to fully supportive drivers and members of the public. My thanks to all involved including Shaftesbury Youth Club, Shaftesbury School & Tesco for their kind hospitality.”
Councillor Andrew Kerby, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety for North Dorset District Council, said, “I’m incredibly impressed with the No Excuse team. The technology and cameras the police utilise are highly effective at recognising illegal drivers. However, it is the proactive educational programme of teaching school pupils the dangers of the road at an early age that I believe will help keep North Dorset’s roads safer in the future.”
During the day, Martyn also presented local firm, C&O Tractors with 150 road safety packs, to help staff stay safe on the roads.
Andy Coles, Managing Director of C&O said, “At C&O Tractors we are committed to ensuring our drivers are safe and courteous road users. About half our staff drive vans, tractors and other agricultural machinery on the roads as part of their day to day work so it is important for us to make sure their driver awareness skills are continually refined, the Dorset Police Guide to Safer Roads is proving a really useful tool to help us with that ongoing learning.”