Motorist caught reading at the wheel

A driver reading a newspaper at the wheel and another texting at a busy crossroad were among hundreds of motorists caught during a crackdown on road offences across Derbyshire.

Operation Lifeguard has seen officers heading out on the county’s roads to target drivers committing one of the ‘fatal four’ factors that contribute to road collisions.

These are speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone at the wheel and driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

It is part on an ongoing campaign to make Derbyshire’s road safer through enforcement and educational activities.

The operation’s launch week last week coincided with the national charity BRAKE’s annual road safety campaign.

Officers from the Roads Policing Unit, Safer Neighbourhood Teams and the Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST) pulled over hundreds of drivers for a variety of offences. Checks were carried out in Derby, Chesterfield and across the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales.

During the checks more than 160 people were reported for speeding offences and 113 were caught not wearing their seatbelt. Eleven drivers were arrested and reported for drink driving.

On Monday, November 19 a driver was spotted flicking through a newspaper while driving along the A6 at Cromford.

On Friday, November 23 a driver was stopped was fined £560 for illegally using red diesel near the roundabout where Bakewell Road meets Fairfield Road.

Chief Inspector Steve Wilson, head of Roads Policing, said: “Some drivers just don’t realise how seriously the fatal four can affect your chance of being involved in serious or even fatal collision.

“The majority of drivers stick to the rules but there are still pockets of road users that openly disregard them - and it is these drivers we are committed to re-educate and bring to justice if necessary.

“It’s astounding that many drivers don’t wear their seatbelts, which save lives, or use their phones while at the wheel, and simply shocking that someone would have a newspaper on their lap while on the road, too.

“We will continue to focus out efforts on those areas which are proven to have the biggest impact on road safety, and this campaign shows that we can, and will, take action to make Derbyshire’s roads safer.”

The team also worked with staff from Specsavers at an event at the East Midlands Designer Outlet to hand out 500 winter driving packs and speak to motorists about getting their vehicles ready for winter.

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