This week, North Yorkshire Police’s Operation Spartan will be targeting drivers using mobile phone from behind the wheel, in support of a national week long NPCC campaign to highlight the dangers of driving whilst using a phone.
From 6am Monday 23 January to midnight Sunday 29 January 2017 officers will be running ‘flash ops’ in key locations across the county, targeting distracted drivers. Traffic officers will also be supported by the safety camera vans which are also equipped to capture images of drivers who are using handsets illegally.
The national THINK! road safety campaign has recently stated that studies show drivers using handheld mobile phones are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards and even careful drivers can be distracted by a ringing phone or text messages arriving. A momentary lapse in concentration can have catastrophic effects, so the advice is to switch off before you drive off.
Speaking about the week of action Traffic Sgt John Lumbard said: “Officers will be out across the region, patrolling in both marked and covert patrol vehicles, targeting drivers who misuse their mobiles whilst driving. In recent years there have very sadly been a number of fatal collisions in North Yorkshire involving drivers using mobiles. A number of families have been left devastated and broken, all because someone deemed accepting a call or reading a text to be more important than someone’s life. The misuse of a mobile whilst driving is totally unacceptable and North Yorkshire Police will not tolerate it.”
Operation Spartan is again appealing to members of the public to come forward and report any instances of drivers using their mobile phones, or any other examples of dangerous or anti-social driving. Reports can be made to police via 101 or the easy-to-use driving concern form on the North Yorkshire Police website northyorkshire.police.uk/OpSpartan
Each report is reviewed by the Major Collision Investigation Team and the relevant steps are taken, whether engagement or enforcement – to ultimately make the roads of North Yorkshire a safer place to travel.
Since launch the team have received over 250 submissions of information alerting police to incidents of dangerous driving. Speaking about the response that Op Spartan has received Inspector Dave Barf said; “We have been encouraged by the number of driver concern forms that we have received in the first five weeks of the Operation and are grateful to the public for taking the time to report their concerns to us.”
“The information we have received feeds into our intelligence and enables us to build a more complete picture of areas where certain offences are taking place. This enables us to effectively target these areas and achieve our goal of making the roads of North Yorkshire safer and lower the instances of serious collisions and road deaths by identifying and educating those who are seen as being at risk of causing themselves or others harm.”
“I’d like to thank those who have used the form and would encourage anyone who has witnessed driving behaviour which has caused concern, to share that information with us via the online driver concern form. Completing the form may avoid serious collisions or fatalities on our roads.”