Project EDWARD: "The intensification week may have come to an end but it's business as usual for us"
Today sees the culmination of Project EDWARD and another productive week on the roads of Wiltshire for our Roads Policing Unit.
Alongside their normal duties of keeping the drivers of this county safe, they supported the national week of action to their roles and targeted three well-known hotspots across the county over the last three days in the A303, A4 and M4.
The aim of the road safety campaign, which is an acronym for Every Day Without A Road Death, was to raise awareness of road safety with a focus on those who drive for work.
Over just the course of the three days of action, stopping vehicles at the three locations during a two-hour period each day, officers stopped and dealt with the following:
10 speeding offences of the most serious nature
3 arrests for drug driving, driving while disqualified and other motoring offences
3 mobile phone tickets, including 1 HGV driver
7 seatbelt tickets
2 vehicles seized for no insurance and no licence
1 defective tyre ticket
1 defective exhaust ticket
3 drivers prosecuted for goods vehicle being overloaded
3 tachograph infringement offences
A/Ps Ben Cox said: "It has been a really good week for us and a campaign we were pleased to support and the response and engagement from the public to it has been superb. As you can see, we had some really positive results as well as the educational side of the week that can't be measured but is so important to focus on so that people are aware of what they need to do to ensure their vehicles are road worthy. The intensification week may have come to an end but this is business as usual for us and we will be out patrolling the strategic road network as normal, educating drivers and continuing enforcement. I'd like to remind drivers to check the road worthiness of their vehicles before driving and to remove any distractions which may contribute to an accident occurring. By doing these simple things, you could help prevent an avoidable death or serious injury on the roads in Wiltshire."
Road safety is a top priority for Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, who fully supported not only the national week of action but the ongoing work of the roads policing unit and has urged the public to do their bit in keeping our roads in Wiltshire as safe as they can be.
He said: "Road safety is a priority within the updated Police and Crime Plan this year. Paying attention to the vehicles we are using on the roads and the condition they are in is a very easy step we can all take to prevent avoidable road traffic collisions. With schools back open and people returning to work, we are seeing the roads busier than they have been since lockdown. We have a fantastic Roads Policing Unit and I welcome the activity the Force have provided for Project EDWARD, with a focus on some of the most dangerous roads in the county and a good balance of enforcement and education.
"It is still staggering to see the speeds that some people have been caught doing this week, the number of people driving without the use of seatbelts and the alarming image of the tyre from one vehicle that was so bald the cords were showing. The focus continues to be on the fatal four factors of speeding, using a mobile phone whilst driving, not wearing a seatbelt and drink/drug driving, all of which are reckless and completely avoidable.
"I urge you as drivers to take responsibility before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and just that extra bit of care and attention could save lives."
The public are also being encouraged to engage with a national survey organised by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to gain a greater insight into public perception of road safety and enforcement.
Jerry Herbert, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: "We are fortunate to live in a safe County for roads, but every death or injury is avoidable.
"We work closely with our partners to ensure suitable engagement, education and engineering, using enforcement in a targeted way to deter the most serious law breakers. This week the Force have focused on three notorious stretches of Wiltshire road in the A303, A4 and M4 and the response and engagement has been fantastic.
"To better understand public perception of road safety and enforcement, I would encourage you to have your say by filling out this survey here and help us to improve. The deadline to complete the survey is Wednesday, September 30."