Police warning to motorists

POLICE have today warned that if you commit offences behind the wheel, you will be caught.

POLICE have today warned that if you commit offences behind the wheel, you will be caught.

More than 2,000 motorists have been stopped for various traffic offences on the county's roads since the Save A Life campaign was launched two months ago and police are hoping the message is getting across.

I joined Sergeant Simon Hobson and Pc Phil Hilton on a deployment in Ipswich, where they were looking out for anyone using a mobile phone behind the wheel, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and any other traffic offences.

In the hour that I spent with them in their unmarked car, they stopped two people for using a mobile phone and four people for not wearing seatbelts.

The responses of those caught varied from being frustrated but accepting their offence, to denying it and even resorting to aggressive behaviour.

One driver, who was stopped in Bramford Road, told me: “I had just got into my car and had not gone that far when I was stopped. I think it is highway robbery - I was not even going 10mph. It is a waste of time.”

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However after he was given a leaflet about the campaign, he changed his mind and accepted it was silly not to wear one.

A delivery driver, who was caught without a seatbelt on, told officers that he did not realise he was doing anything wrong as thought he did not have to wear one while carrying out a 'multi-drop'.

Sgt Hobson explained that the rule of no seatbelts for multi-drops only applies when there are several drop offs only a few yards apart whereas this driver had travelled the length of the road, exceeding 30mph, without wearing a seatbelt.

He said: “People see the seatbelt thing as a trifling offence. The reason it is the law is people can get hurt in accidents but get more seriously hurt if they are not wearing a seatbelt.”

On several occasions the officers spotted a driver, quite obviously using a mobile phone, but could not navigate the traffic system to reach them in time. However Sgt Hobson and Pc Hilton were not prepared to let people off easily as at one point, they spotted a driver without a seatbelt on from about 100 metres away and put their foot down, managing to weave through the traffic before signalling him to pull over.

Sgt Hobson said: “If you think how many opportunities we have missed, what would the figures be like if we challenged every motorist? There are a lot of people out there not doing what they should.

“If you flout the law, you will be dealt with robustly but fairly.”

Have you been caught for an offence during this campaign and now see the error of your ways? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

The Evening Star, alongside Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Safecam, the Highways Agency and the East of England Ambulance Service, has launched a ten-week Save a Life campaign to reduce the numbers of those getting killed or seriously injured on our county's roads.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the shocking statistics surrounding the amount of accidents on Suffolk's roads, which could be so easily avoided by just thinking before getting behind the wheel.

Among the core areas to be tackled throughout the campaign are speeding, using mobile phones while driving, drink and drug driving, not wearing seatbelts.

For being caught using a mobile phone while driving-£60 fixed penalty notice (FPN) and three points on licence

For not wearing a seatbelt-£30 FPN

For no insurance- £200 FPN and six points

For no licence- £60 FPN, and three points

For any other vehicle defects- £60 FPN and three points

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