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Did you see police flood Dereham today? This is what they were up to

PUBLISHED: 17:03 03 October 2012 | UPDATED: 17:09 03 October 2012

Police in Dereham launched the 'Road Safety 1st' initiative. Pictured in the town is PC Andy Lawer from the ANPR Intercept Team. Picture: Ian Burt

Police in Dereham launched the 'Road Safety 1st' initiative. Pictured in the town is PC Andy Lawer from the ANPR Intercept Team. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Police flooded Dereham’s streets, car parks and schools today as they concentrated resources on a single town in a high-visibility pilot of a new road safety scheme.

The Road Safety First initiative comes after the tragic deaths of a number of people on Norfolk’s road in recent weeks.

At least one car was seized today, and 26 drivers stopped and six verbal warnings issued by officers who checked how fast people were driving, whether their vehicles were taxed and whether they had any faults.

Roads policing Sergeant Peter Howlett said: “We have picked up many people failing to wear seat belts, using mobile phones and vehicle defects, mainly tyres that are worn outside the legal requirements. That can be an indication of the economic climate because people might not spend money on their cars as freely as before.”

He said most drivers were given the opportunity to take a driver behaviour course rather than face a financial penalty or court summons, while many with tyre problems received a notice to send police proof they had fixed the problem at an MOT station.

The authorities also talked to more than 1,000 school children, and at the request of Toftwood Junior, Kings Park Infant and Scarning Primary Schools dealt with problem parking by parents.

Two teddy bears Bethany and Benjamin starred in a half-hour role play to show four to five year olds the importance of holding parents’ hands and wearing harnesses in cars.

Year two pupils received practical pedestrian safety training, year five and six students were taught about catapults to show the importance of seat belts, while year seven students took part in a game show dealing with independent travel to reflect their transition to high school.

Norfolk County Council’s casualty reduction team manager Iain Temperton said: “One of the reasons for doing this is to give a clear indication to the people in Norfolk of the way agencies work together to keep our roads safe, and the breadth of intervention that goes on day to day.

“We are encouraged with how the day is going. If we feel it’s a worthwhile exercise we would be looking to roll it around other locations around the county.”

Call the customer service at County Hall on 0344 800 8020, or email roadsafety@norfolk.gov.uk with any road safety queries.

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