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Drink, drug & distracted drivers targeted by Roads Policing Unit in launch week

Cumbria Police’s new Roads Policing Unit lead a multi-agency Week of Action last week, which saw hundreds of vehicles stopped and more than 20 drivers arrested for being over the limit for drink or drugs.

The week of action saw police officers and staff targeting the Fatal Four - speeding, drink/drug driving, not wearing seat belts, and using mobile phones while driving.

The week resulted the following police action:

510 vehicles stopped

293 notices of intended prosecution via safety camera vans

90 drivers reported for speeding

26 drivers arrested for being over the limit for drink/drugs

23 drivers reported for using a mobile phone whilst driving

18 drivers reported for not wearing their seatbelt

11 drivers reported for defective tyres

Other action taken included against people driving without insurance, people driving without a licence, people driving without an MOT and people driving through red lights.

For much of the operation, safety camera vans were positioned near to schools around the county to catch drivers speeding.

Inspector Jack Stabler said: “The week marked an excellent start for the new Roads Policing Unit (RPU), however this is only the beginning.

“Together with our partners on Cumbria Road Safety Partnership we are committed to working to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads by targeting dangerous driver behaviour and using analytics to target the roads which see the most serious collisions in the county.

“Every driver can help us to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads by making sure you are aware of the Fatal Four and by taking basic steps to make sure your own vehicle is in good condition.”

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) carried out their own checks in Cumbria which resulted in more than 50 vehicles being checked, with issues such as defective brakes, overloaded vehicles and driver hours offences being identified, and thousands of pounds of fixed penalty notices being issued as a result.

Mark Parish, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency's Traffic Enforcement Manager for Carlisle, said: “The creation of the new Cumbria Police Roads Police Unit is a significant step forward in helping protect the road users of this County from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

“The DVSA look forward to working with the Unit in the future in our shared aims of improving road safety in Cumbria.”

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “The Fatal Four are, as the name suggests, the biggest killers on our roads and all of them are avoidable by motorists’ taking responsibility for themselves and others.

“I’m really pleased to see the results of the week of action by the Roads Policing Unit and I need to highlight that this is just a snapshot of what the Unit will be doing year-round.

“I would urge drivers to follow the rules of the road and drive appropriately for the conditions of the road, place any distractions out of arms reach, and drive sober or have a designated driver.

“The message is clear: if you break the law, the Police will catch you and you will have to face the consequences of your actions. However, you can act now and take responsibility for your actions by driving safe and sober.

“I would also like to encourage the public to report any dangerous driving to the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

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