The specially trained Devon and Cornwall Police officers, including a sergeant and six police constables will concentrate on tackling the Fatal Five offences that cause an unacceptable level of deaths and serious injuries on our roads – excessive or inappropriate speed, not wearing a seatbelt, distracted driving such as using a handheld mobile phone, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and careless or inconsiderate driving. They will be supported by a researcher to identify significant intelligence trends on road users and areas with specific issues.
The team will have two operational hubs, at Exeter and Bodmin.
Sergeant Jon Kerridge-Smith, who leads the No Excuse team, said: “Even before being fully resourced the No Excuse team has been out on the roads, and the results speak for themselves. As well as catching offenders ourselves, by providing support for local policing teams we maximise their effectiveness.”
Amongst other activities in Devon and Cornwall, the No Excuse team has already achieved 15 roadside drug tests, 154 breath tests, 249 fixed penalties issued, 47 vehicles seized, 20 arrests, 134 drivers given advice and education and 25 referrals to the DVLA.
“Offending motorists should also be aware that we will be acting on intelligence received from the public or internally generated by, for instance, ANPR (automatic number plate recognition), to take off the road drivers who have no valid license, road fund license or insurance. Intelligence received will also enable us to concentrate our attentions on specific roads or areas where there is a concentration of offences.”
The No Excuse team is part of package of measures to tackle driving offences and safety issues on the roads of Devon and Cornwall ultimately reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured.
At last week’s Police and Crime Panel, Commissioner Alison Hernandez announced a new road safety strategy focused on vulnerable road users and advocates a move towards a ‘safe systems’ approach, with road designers working hand in hand with emergency services.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Alison Hernandez said: “I am alarmed by the number of serious incidents on our roads and moved by the stories of those who have suffered because of these largely avoidable tragedies.
“The only way we are going to make progress is if we engage with our partners to improve driver education, operate a strict enforcement of dangerous driving and are engaged with the redesign of safer roads systems.
“Having this dedicated road safety team is fantastic news, it will really hammer home to drivers that there is No Excuse for dangerous driving.”
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