Making West Mercia’s Roads Safer
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion is supporting a joint national operation between police and Highways England, aimed at changing driver behaviour.
Last week, ‘Operation Tramline’ came to West Mercia. It is in place to help decrease the number of people killed or seriously injured on the Highways England road network (motorways and major trunk roads). The cabs, which are funded by Highways England, have travelled thousands of miles since they first took to the road 12 months ago and police officers inside the vehicles have recorded over 3,500 offences, including over 450 in the Midlands.
A plain white HGV tractor unit has been operated by West Mercia Police a number of times already this year and recently been in operation along the M5 for 2 days last week with more dates planned over the coming weeks. The elevated position of the cab allows police officers to film unsafe driving behaviour within passing vehicles and to deal with these offences as appropriate.
The Operation is in place to crack down on offenders who continue to break the law. Risky behaviour, such as mobile phone use and seatbelt use, is such a significant contributory factor with regards to road collisions and the resulting injuries.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “I welcome this innovative operation and partnership approach to changing the behaviours of drivers. It’s great to have the support of Highways England as we look to tackle the problem of people driving dangerously and without care on our roads. I had the privilege of seeing it first-hand and I was incredibly impressed with the HGV cab and the officers involved. I hope to see this operation change the behaviour of drivers and ultimately reduce the number of people committing offences and putting lives at risk on our roads.”
Anthony Thorpe, Highways England Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention Advisor said: “The HGV cab project, which is funded by Highways England, has been patrolling motorways and major A roads over the past couple of years with the aim of improving road safety. It provides an ideal viewing platform for police officers to identify dangerous driving behaviour that can be difficult to spot from standard police patrol vehicles – for example driving without wearing a seatbelt. Highways England is committed to working collaboratively with our partners in the police to improve road safety and we will continue to use the HGV cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive. We would like to take this opportunity to thank West Mercia Police for their continued support of the project.
Inspector Gavin Williams of West Mercia Police said; “It’s concerning that there are still motorists using our road network that are willing to risk their own and others safety by concentrating on things other than driving. During this Operation we have witnessed drivers of heavy goods vehicles texting, watching films and using social media sites. There are education campaigns that highlight various road safety issues, such as seatbelt use and using a mobile phone so there is no excuse for people not to know what the law states or the penalties they can receive when they are caught. This Operation is a great demonstration of joint partnership working with Highways England where the ultimate aim is to improve road safety for all and reduce the amount of people that are killed or seriously injured on our roads”.