08:00 Wednesday 21 November 2012

A38 drivers safety blitz

Written byROB SMYTH

A JOINT operation targeting dangerous drivers on the A38 has taken place in a fresh bid to cut the death and accident toll on the notorious carriageway.

A38 operation
A38 operation

Staffordshire Police joined Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) yesterday for a unique campaign to crack down on drivers who were speeding, using mobile phones or failing to wear a seatbelt.

The move, which saw teams based on the Centrum 100 Business Park, came as part of a concerted effort to tackle problems on the A38 following the tragic deaths of sisters Parveen Kauser and Raheela Altaf on the northbound stretch near the Branston junction in April.

The teams watched drivers via specially sited cameras along the carriageway before sending police motorcycle riders to catch up with anyone committing an offence and bringing them back to the operation’s base for a stern talking to by all those involved.

Thirty-seven were caught during the five hour operation and were then given the choice of watching a graphic fire and rescue service road safety video in order escape a fixed penalty notice or penalty points.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police told the Mail: “We can confirm the operation was part of ongoing measures to improve safety for drivers on the A38.

“The operation was about raising awareness of dangerous driving and educating people to heighten motorists’ awareness of the A38’s dangers and make their driving safer.”

PC Nigel Armitage, who was part of the operation, said: “It was a big success. It was not about persecuting drivers but about educating.

“The message had a big impact and the drivers were very positive.

“They are not bad drivers but have become buffered by years of driving and just needed a bit of reminding of some of the key skills needed as a motorist to stay safe.”

The operation was born out of a need for major changes along the carriageway after questions were asked following a safety review spearheaded by MP Andrew Griffiths and backed by police, firefighters and the county council.

The safety review saw highways bosses close the gap in the central reservation where the sisters died after it was branded dangerous.

A review is under way about closing the three other gaps along the same stretch of road, the introduction of lower speed limits and the state of vegetation on the approaches to the A38.

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