STAFFORDSHIRE POLICE FEATURE – Calls for drivers to check their vehicles are safe to drive following road policing operation

Staffordshire Police is calling on motorists to check their vehicles are safe to drive after a road policing operation at Norton Canes last week saw almost half of people stopped were breaking the law.

Officers carrying out the operation, which took place on Thursday 2 July on the A5, targeted vehicles including vans, motorbikes and cars towing trailers with plant machinery – with 96 pulled over between 8:15am and 1:15pm.

Of those inspected, 47 were dealt with proactively by officers – with 20 tickets issued for breaching regulations around the wearing of seatbelts, mobile phone use and tyre condition.

The remaining 27 motorists were either given a caution, had their vehicle seized or instructed to fix the issue there and then – with one trailer clocked as being two tonnes overweight.

Inspector Richard Gathergood said: “Operations like this are really important for us in ensuring our roads are kept safe – with this one in conjunction with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) National Seatbelt campaign.”

“We’re always collaborating with partner agencies, including Highways England, the Central Motorway Policing Group and in this instance a child seat campaigner from West Midlands Police, to make sure that people are taking the right steps when driving. This is even more important at the present time when many cars have been sat idle throughout the Covid-19 lockdown.”

“All we ask is that members of the public check their vehicles prior to use if they have not driven too often in the last three months or so. Please make sure your driving licence, insurance, MOT and tax are current and valid whilst it’s important to take the time to ensure your tyres, fluids and brakes are roadworthy before use.”

“There are many risks associated with using defective cars and we thank the public for their support in keeping Staffordshire’s roads safe.”

Marie Biddulph, Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator at Highways England, said: “As the lockdown travel restrictions continue to ease, more people are getting back behind the wheel and even planning ‘staycation’ journeys. But their vehicles may not have been driven for many weeks and motorists may also feel a little out of practice.”

“It is crucial that drivers carry out basic vehicle checks before setting off on any journeys. Checking your tyres, oil, water, lights and fuel doesn’t take long but it will help prevent the frustration of a breakdown or even more serious consequences.”

“Ensure trailers and caravans are roadworthy too please and that all loads are secure. We all want to be able to enjoy summer safely.”