20th May 2018

17 interventions and two vehicles seized during intensified M5 patrols

Last week Avon and Somerset Police ran Op Tramline, their annual road safety day of action which saw intensified patrols along the M5 corridor around Exeter and Taunton.

Tri Force officers from Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire were out in marked and unmarked vehicles, proactively targeting drivers breaking the law on our roads.

The risks of dangerous driving were explained to offenders and they were also issued penalties or prosecuted where appropriate.

Compulsory education sessions were also run in Taunton Deane Service station by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue & Somerset Road Safety who provided professional, practical advice alongside the police.

Officers working in the Avon and Somerset force area were based in Taunton Deane Service station and made the following interventions:

  • 7 for excess speed
  • 2 cars seized no insurance
  • 3 no MOT
  • 2 for using a mobile phone
  • 2 defective vehicles
  • 1 HGV driver dealt with for driving hours offences

Superintendent Andy Williams, Head of Road Safety at Avon and Somerset Police said:

“Dangerous driving puts your life and the lives of others at risk. It’s easy for drivers to make mundane excuses for checking their phone, speeding or not wearing a seatbelt, but these dangerous habits needlessly endanger other road users.

Take a moment, consider these risks and think about small changes you can make to improve your driving.”

The M5 is one of the most important roads in the region and Avon and Somerset Police are committed to making it safer for drivers.

Avon and Somerset Police’s work spans from road safety interventions such as Op Tramline to regular law enforcement and traffic management activity.

In 2017 Avon and Somerset Police attended 100 ‘injury collisions’ along the M5 which resulted in 248 casualties. Of these casualties, 6% were either fatal or classified as serious. Many of these collisions were caused by one of the ‘fatal four’ which are the most common causes of accidents on our roads.

The fatal four are widely recognised as the following:

  • Inappropriate speed – According to road safety charity THINK!, just a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death. Make sure that you’re driving at the appropriate speed for the conditions at all times and never exceed the speed limit.
  • Distraction – Using a mobile phone at the wheel is illegal, even while stopped with the engine on. Legislation introduced in March 2017 means those caught can receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine or new drivers could have their license taken away. Put your phone out sight in your bag or on the back seat and make sure you’re focussed on the road.
  • Not wearing a seatbelt – You’re twice as likely to die in a crash if you don’t wear a seatbelt according to THINK!. Most modern cars are fitted with an electronic reminder and no matter how long/short the journey is, there is no excuse – put on your seatbelt before you drive.
  • Drink/drug driving – Intoxication reduces a driver’s ability to drive safely by reducing reaction times, increasing fatigue and impairing judgement. Often it is an innocent person who suffers during a collision, not the driver who is over the drink drive limit.

Avon and Somerset Police are encouraging members of the public to report any dangerous driving and send dashcam footage to them online. Information from any reports police are unable to respond to will be fed into future investigations and intelligence for ongoing road safety management.

If you see a driver breaking the law on the road, you can repot them online.