Traffic issues are always a topic that everyone has a view on which is evident whenever I put anything on this subject out on Twitter or Facebook as it generates the most responses. Last week I was tweeting from my phone and managed to say we were deploying speed camera cans -what one letter can do to change the meaning of the sentence but it did make for some amusing comments.
Last month in the Melton Times there was a letter on the danger of using mobile phones when driving. The letter asked how many drivers had received a ticket in Melton and the number surprised me as being less than 20 in the last 8 months so staff at Melton will be on the lookout for offending drivers.
The seriousness of mobile phone use behind the wheel was very evident in a recent trial in Cambridgeshire where a woman was sentenced to six years after texting on two phones before a fatal crash. Judge Enright was very forthright in his summing up stating “Mobile phone use while driving is a plague on our society.” If you are involved in a serious accident police will look at your mobile so just don’t use it.
Using a mobile phone whilst driving may cost you your liberty and someone’s life but at the very least will cost you £100 and 3 points on your licence or there is an option to avoid the points by attending an education course designed to change driver behaviour.
The other big 3 factors in fatal or serious accidents are speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and drink drive; Leicester Police run regular clinics to target these and is termed the ‘fatal 4’. It still amazes me how many people do not wear a seat belt –over 30 in just 4 hours last time in Melton.
I often hear comments that tackling traffic offences is a revenue generator but this is a myth as the police do not get the revenue –it goes to the treasury. Some of the money is returned to us but only for promoting road safety so that is not the reason we deal with this –the reason is the majority of the public ask us and if you have ever lost a loved one on the roads then you will understand why.
I often get asked by the public if the speed camera vans can be parked on their street but these are deployed on the whole to main arteriole routes where there is either an accident black spot, community concern or where the data collected by the grey monitoring boxes show the problem of speeding to be serious in terms of numbers and the amount drivers are over the speed limit. If you want to get involved at a more local level i.e. to street then please engage with your beat team. Currently speeding is a priority on both rural beats as this is what the majority of people consulted have asked for. You can find a consultation form on the Force website at the bottom titled ‘Have Your Say’
If you take a look under the priorities for Melton Rural North in Local Policing you will see an update on the work so far tackling speeding –over 100 drivers found speeding in one village alone.
Clearly enforcement is one way to tackle this problem but the main weapon is you to impress on drivers you travel with not to use a mobile, not to put their foot down, belt up and don’t drink and drive.