M5 police crackdown catches 291 drivers | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

M5 police crackdown catches 291 drivers

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The first ever policing operation covering the entire length of the M5 has resulted in 291 people being dealt with for traffic and other offences. 

Operation Unity involved officers from seven police forces working together to proactively police the M5 corridor, from its origins in West Bromwich, near Birmingham, to the start of the Devon Expressway in Exeter.
The aim of the operation was to crackdown on travelling criminals and target traffic offences over a two-day period, between Thursday, 2 October, and Friday, 3 October.
Of the 291 drivers dealt with, 70 were stopped for speeding offences, 54 were issued with fixed penalty notices for using their phone at the wheel and 35 were pulled over for not wearing their seatbelts.
As part of the operation, 11 people were arrested on suspicion of a variety of offences. Notable arrests include the arrest of two men, with the help of Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) officers, over vehicle thefts.
Superintendent Paul Keasey, head of CMPG who led the operation, said: “We hope it raises the awareness of the ‘fatal five’ offences, namely dangerous and careless driving, mobile phones, speeding, seatbelts, drink and drug driving, and makes drivers think more carefully about their actions, helping to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.”



So what was different with this operation to what should normally be practised? If it was the fact that all 7 police forces worked together then that is appalling admission that motorway enforcement does not normally include this aspect of policing. I am sincerely hopeful that this Operation continues as normal practice on a daily basis and does not get replaced with ad-hoc arrangements that seem to to be the norm.
I would like to believe that a similar approach can be taken for policing the M6, the M1 and all other major motorways and trunk roads so that the same level of enforcement on those who continue to put themselves and others at risk is practised and contributes to improving road safety across the UK.