Police operation catches drivers on mobile phones and not wearing seat belts in Norfolk and Suffolk

Police Officers head out onto the A11 as part of Operation Wyken. Photograph Simon Parker Police Officers head out onto the A11 as part of Operation Wyken. Photograph Simon Parker

Friday, March 15, 2013
3:00 PM

People using mobile phones while driving or not wearing a seat belt were in for a shock this week – thanks to unmarked police vehicles being used for a casualty reduction operation.

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Police Officers head out onto the A11 as part of Operation Wyken. Photograph Simon ParkerPolice Officers head out onto the A11 as part of Operation Wyken. Photograph Simon Parker

The Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit caught more than 200 offenders, mainly HGV drivers, between Monday and Friday as part of Operation Wyken – which coincided with this week’s European Seat Belt Campaign.

The region’s major roads, including the A47 and A11, have been targeted by the officers working on Operation Wyken.

This saw officers in an unmarked lorry, with the officer in the passenger seat using a video camera to catch offenders. The officers then used their radios to alert trailing marked and unmarked vehicles who pulled over the offending drivers.

Any drivers using a mobile phone, watching a TV, DVD or laptop screen, eating, drinking, steering with knees or reading a map, book or newspaper could then receive a fixed penalty notice.

Police Officers head out onto the A11 as part of Operation Wyken. Photograph Simon ParkerPolice Officers head out onto the A11 as part of Operation Wyken. Photograph Simon Parker

Of the 200 offences recorded, 128 drivers were not wearing seatbelts, 35 were using a mobile phone while driving, eight drivers were not in proper control of their vehicle and two vehicles were seized for having no insurance.

There were also 26 drivers who had committed various offences and one driver was arrested for having a fraudulent driving licence.

Around £12,000 in fines was handed out through fixed penalty notices and roads police inspector Chris Brooks said similar operations will continue in future.

“Seat belts and air bags work together to reduce injuries at times of collision, so the message is please wear your seat belt,” Insp Brooks said.

Police Officers head out onto the A11 as part of Operation Wyken. Roads Policing Inspector for Norfolk and Suffolk Chris Brooks. Photograph Simon ParkerPolice Officers head out onto the A11 as part of Operation Wyken. Roads Policing Inspector for Norfolk and Suffolk Chris Brooks. Photograph Simon Parker

“And the same with mobile phones. If you put it in your pocket or your jacket then you can’t be tempted to use it.”

Insp Brooks said many drivers were also offered the option of paying to sit a driving awareness course.

Insp Brooks said many drivers were offered the option of taking a driving awareness course, similar to when some people caught speeding for the first time are.

A fine of £60 and three penalty points on a driver’s licence is possible, but these can be waived if the driver pays to go on the course, money from which is then used to fund police schemes like Operation Wyken.

He added that young drivers sending text messages on mobile phones were the main offenders.

18 comments

  • Can you please do a campaign on vehicles with defective lights? See no end of cars, vans etc with one light, no lights etc do any of these people have MOT's ?

    Report this comment

    kevin rymell

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

  • Easy meat! and look how many officers were employed on this "operation" it would be so nice to see a friendly copper on the beat and get the odd burglary solved but it's much more lucrative to go for soft targets. I would like to see the stats for crimes solved in Norfolk,and how much stolen property was recovered,but these crimes take time and effort and are not nearly so cost effective!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Monday, March 18, 2013

  • This is'nt about road safety, it's about taking money from the motorist or anyone else who are easy pickings, I was burgled last year and received no compensation, the person who done it is scott free and driving illegally, the police are aware of this but not bothered, there's justice in action.

    Report this comment

    clive hill

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

  • Wouldn't it be great if they had the power to seize the mobile, laptop etc. That might make the offenders think twice about using them whilst driving...

    Report this comment

    richard1

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • Maybe Norfolk Police could put the same amount of resources into dealing with the current spate of House Burglary. Unfortunately there priority is with the easy traffic hits as they no ,longer have the ability or intelligence system to detect this type of offence.

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • Well done Perhaps the team should also look at some of the ir own who operate a radio whilst driving with one hand.mor,pass you on a duel carriageway over the speed limit and not on blues. Or do not use indicators when changing direction Or do not alway wear a hi viz after stopping someone. Where does it stop

    Report this comment

    edifir

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • If the fine were doubled the revenue to the police would be massive... If police were to step up their campaign .. The the increase in fines revenue would be a winner...in these hard time... Do not do it and you will not cost you anything...

    Report this comment

    Lionel

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • This is good but work need to be done in the city. Drivers are really lazy - not indicating and driving aggressively. Pedestrian crossings aren't always safe. Sorry to say it is getting MORE dangerous for pedestrians not less.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • dave123.......law breaking motorists kill and seriously injure more people in a year than every burglar has in the last 100 years.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • Reasonable if your caught in the act watching tv etc but this only addresses part of the problem. What about:- illegal tyres, drinkdrug drivers, vehicles with serious faults such as brakes or steering faults and probably a whole host of other items that this method of detection simply can't detect. Whilst something is better than nothing in terns of deterrent - I can't help but feel its a bit of a PR exercise from plod.

    Report this comment

    Urbancommander

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • How many are driving on our roads with faulty lights?

    Report this comment

    Old Long Balls

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

  • Take away their licences.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • A good campaign but something needs to be done in the county about reckless overtaking. That and bad use of junctions are the killers.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • Another road fatality reported today. The gaggle of publicity seeking MPs can switch their attention from 'demanding' assurances about the ambulance service back to 'calling' for improvements to our roads.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • Just the start now get into the city and observe some of the low standard of driving.

    Report this comment

    Michael Johnson

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • I drove less than 1.5 miles today in Spixworth, to the village hall to give blood and to the MOT bay garage. I saw 2 drivers using mobiles and the second was using one hand on the wheel turning out of Park Road onto Buxton Road toward Norwich. It amazes me how many drivers just don't care.

    Report this comment

    Christopher Neave

    Friday, March 15, 2013

  • It's about time the police cracked down on people driving whilst using mobile phones. We've already heard about the number of deaths on the roads in our region. You can't put all the blame for this on the roads, the drivers must carry some responsibility.

    Report this comment

    tigger449

    Monday, March 18, 2013

  • Even better if they seized the vehicle, nobody is going to be too upset if they have a sandwich or a newspaper confiscated.

    Report this comment

    crunchy dick

    Friday, March 15, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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