A LARGE-SCALE police operation snared dozens of motorists in South Derbyshire - with the use of mobile phones at the wheel and drivers not wearing seatbelts at the top of the list of indiscretions.
Results from the operation, held last Thursday on the A444, in Castle Gresley, have now been revealed.
Eagle-eyed officers were on the lookout for drivers flouting the law, while vehicles were also pulled over at random for safety checks.
In an operation that lasted only four hours, a staggering 27 drivers were caught without a seatbelt and 16 using a mobile phone, while 11 vehicles were considered to have defects so serious that they were not allowed to continue as they posed a potential danger to other road users.
PC Barry Jackson, of Derbyshire Police’s Casualty Reduction Safety Team, said: “The figures are quite astounding for the length of time we were there, it wasn’t the busiest time.
“We just want people to go home at the end of the day. We want to get to them and educate them before they have a collision. In my job as a family liaison officer I have to give the bad news to families. We want to stop them before they go and kill someone or hurt themselves.
“The number of collisions I see where someone is not wearing a seat belt - it’s simple, it keeps you in the confines of your car and keeps you safe.”
In the majority of cases, motorists were offered education courses rather than being handed points or fines.
PC Jackson said it was about getting the message though to people rather than punishing them.
“It is not about points or fines, we offer a range of safety courses in order to educate drivers of the respective danger to them, but the courses are not an easy option. But some people don’t listen, and then we have to go down the points route.
“The ultimate message is use your car safely, go home safely. We don’t want to tell anyone their family member isn’t coming home.”
Officers in Burton said they were pleasantly surprised not to see anyone without a seatbelt or using a mobile phone during their own operation last week, but PC Jackson said the A444 exercise was on a much larger scale and so not comparable.