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Police, road safety officers, trading standards and customs have all been involved in a major crackdown on road safety in Colchester today.
The aim of the one day operation was to get the road safety message to drivers who may be doing things like driving without a seatbelt on or without insurance.
Police were also hoping to track down criminals using the roads of Essex whether it be offenders wanted by police or those involved in drugs.
Around ten check points were set up at all the major entrances/exits to Colchester with officers identifying vehicles they want to check over. The vehicles were then directed into a special checking area and any offences are dealt with there and then.
In one case a woman was stopped for driving while using a mobile. She was directed into a portacabin and asked to watch a special ropad safety video which showed a graphic crash, caused by a young girl on her mobile. It's hoped by making drivers think twice about the actions road crashes and injuries can be prevented in Colchester in the future.
In total, 5 people were arrested and 138 fixed penalty notices were handed out.
Those arrested were: a man suspected of drink-driving, a man suspected of driving while disqualified, a man in possession of an unlawful firearm and two other men who were wanted on court warrants for previous offences.
Twelve vehicles were seized because the drivers were not insured.
A total of 138 fixed £60 penalty notices were issued to drivers who were not wearing seat belts or were using a mobile telephone while driving.
Drivers who were caught using phones were also invited to meet Essex County Council road safety officers and watch a hard-hitting video which showed how using a mobile at the wheel could cause serious or fatal crashes.
Essex Police’s Casualty Reduction Manager Adam Pipe said: “Many people who have a total disregard for traffic regulations will also be involved in crime.
“The multi-agency operation meant that we could stop and educate those law-breaking drivers, seize the cars of people with no insurance and also concentrate on disrupting the journeys of those people who might have been heading into Colchester to commit crime.”