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From 18th January to 31st March 2011, the ‘no excuse’ team have processed 3,328 offences – 2,044 of which are Officer Issued Tickets (OIT’s).
Of the OIT’s:
Over 800 of the offences processed were for not wearing a seatbelt or for using a mobile phone whilst driving (including 1 issued to a person who was using a phone whilst supervising a learner driver)
26 drivers processed for not being in proper control of their vehicle or driving without a proper view.
54 drivers processed for driving without a Ministry of Transport Test Certificate (MOT), Vehicle Excise Licence or Insurance.
The team covered the whole of Dorset during the month utilising both marked and unmarked vehicles and bikes. The Police Officers on the team regularly make use of their covert motorcycles allowing them the opportunity to detect those drivers who think they haven’t been seen. The team regularly receive warm welcomes from the communities they visit including the group of local residents from Gillingham who approached the team and stated that they were really pleased to see ‘no excuse’ working there and making their community feel safer.
Chief Inspector Bob Nichols commented that:
“Recent news that 'no excuse' will be continuing for a second year underlines the Dorset Road Safe commitment to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured. We know from bitter experience that more often than not, distraction or speed are directly responsible for collisions while the refusal to wear seat belts often results in a more serious outcome. Whilst we are seeing great support for the initiative there are too many local motorists still prepared to take a chance.
"The message is clear – we want all drivers to take responsibility and ensure a safer environment for everyone”.
Here's some of the 'excuses' drivers came up with:
*A new driver was stopped holding his phone up to his ear, his immediate excuse was "I wasn’t on the phone, I was listening to the cricket" - it didn’t impress the officers.
*An elderly driver was stopped for not wearing his seatbelt and argued with officer "I always wear my seatbelt and I'm law abiding and never do anything wrong". A driving licence check exposed the truth as he already has 9 points on his licence and was driving without his glasses.
*A lady was stopped speeding commented "I knew you would catch me one day, I'm always speeding through here"
*One car was stopped as the 2 passenger were not wearing seatbelts. The driver of the vehicle found this very funny . . . up until it was pointed out his tax had expired so he was also issued with a ticket.
*A lady was stopped in a 30 mph in Wimborne and couldn't believe that she was going to receive a ticket as she was doing just over 30mph . . . .48mph to be precise.