A police crackdown on unruly drivers in North Lancashire has been extended for another month after hundreds of motorists were stopped.
Operation Bramble, focusing on roads around Lancaster, Morecambe and Fleetwood, saw 461 road users pulled over for a variety of offences in October.
Although officers saw a 37 per cent fall in accidents resulting in injury on ten target roads, the number of road users who died or were seriously injured overall continued to rise during the month.
And police also raised concern at the amount of drivers they had to speak to for not wearing seatbelts and driving while using a mobile phone.
The operation, designed to reduce casualties, particularly among vulnerable road users, is a combination of educating road users and increased patrols, Lancashire Police said.
Sgt Nigel Ralphson, of Lancaster Police’s Road Policing Unit, said; “Despite some encouraging results last month, we are still unfortunately experiencing rises in the number of road users killed or seriously injured on our roads.
“We are committed to making Lancashire’s roads safer, and this is why we have decided to extend the operation for another month.
“It is particularly worrying officers are still having to speak to drivers about not wearing a seatbelt while driving.
“Not only is it an offence to not wear a seatbelt while driving, but motorists are significantly increasing their chances of being killed or seriously injured if they are involved in a collision.
“From the motorist’s point of view too, if they are involved in a collision, even if not their fault, there will be a big reduction in the amount of compensation they’d get if they’re found to have not been wearing a seatbelt.
“Also, it has been an offence to use a mobile phone while in charge of a motor vehicle for over seven years now, and yet, road users are continuing to do so.
“Motorists should be aware, if they are involved in a collision while using a mobile phone, we will class them using their phone while driving or riding their motorcycle as a serious aggravating factor, particularly in serious and fatal collisions.
“Insurance companies also look very dimly on convictions for this offence, meaning the cost of your policy will either be dramatically increased or you may not even be able to get insurance.
“Finally, I would reiterate my strong encouragement to the region’s motorists, particularly motorcyclists, to take advantage of the variety of courses offered by Lancashire County Council. Many of them are free, and will do a great deal to help you be safer on our roads.”
The target roads are the A683 between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale; A588 between Poulton and Lancaster; A586 between Garstang and Poulton;
A587 between Cleveleys and Fleetwood; A6 between Lancaster city centre south and Galgate; A6 around Morecambe; A6 around Wyre; A585 between Poulton and Fleetwood; Lancaster Road, Morecambe; B5268 between Poulton and Fleetwood.
Lancashire Police revealed the following information about the drivers who were stopped:
84 motorists stopped and warned by officers due to the manner of their driving
67 motorists reported having been observed driving without wearing a seatbelt
64 motorists reported having been observed using their mobile phones while driving
55 motorists found to be at fault in a collision were referred to a Driver Awareness Course
38 motorists stopped and warned by officers having been observed speeding
33 cyclists stopped and warned by officers due to poor riding, not having lights on their bicycles, or for wearing no reflective clothing or dark clothing at night
29 PG9 prohibition notices issued to road users whose vehicles were found to be in an un-roadworthy condition.
The PG9 makes it illegal for the vehicle to be used again until the faults have been rectified.
12 warnings under Section 59 of the Road Traffic Act 1974 issued to motorists who were driving in such a way as to cause harassment, nuisance and distress.
If any of those motorists receive a second warning, their vehicle will be seized.
8 vehicles were also seized under Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act 1974 as the road user did not have the correct insurance or license to operate the vehicle.