'No Excuse' Campaign Still Working In Dorset

Dorset police say the number of people killed or seriously injured on the county's roads is falling thanks to their road safety campaign.

It's gone down 18% since the 'No Excuse' project was launched in 2010.

In addition, the number of offences processed by the Dorset Road Safe 'no excuse' project team has fallen by 8% so far this year when compared to the same period in 2010 – despite the same level of enforcement resources being used.

Seatbelt offences have continued to drop and now comprise 22% of tickets issued by traffic officers – down from 35% in the
same period in 2010.

Dorset Police 'No Excuse'

Brian Austin, 'no excuse' Project Manager, said:

"Although we are pleased with the increase in drivers wearing their seatbelts, it is important that we do not become complacent.

"There have been collisions in Dorset where those choosing not to wear a seatbelt have suffered life changing injuries and we must continue with our goal to change the mindset of those willing to take these risks.

"It is extremely disappointing to note that the percentage of drivers putting themselves and other road users at risk by using their mobile phone while driving remains unchanged at 16% of tickets issued in September.

"Dorset Road Safe partners are committed to identifying motorists using their mobile phones and I'd ask the careful drivers and pedestrians of Dorset to continue to report those that are putting others at risk."

A total of 11 motorists received a ticket for driving whilst distracted and 22 drivers were caught driving without valid insurance or MOT in September.

Brian Austin continued:

 "Where possible, Dorset Police and its partners in Dorset Road Safe continue to offer valuable education course options instead of penalty points and fines or court appearances.

"Attendees on the courses continue to praise the content and delivery by the Advanced Driving Instructors.

"By using the excellent local intelligence of our Safer Neighbourhood Teams combined with more Surround a Town operations and continued overt and covert daily enforcement, we will continue to educate the bad and careless drivers using Dorset's roads.

"With the approaching winter weather we want to encourage safer motoring across Dorset to reduce the risk of injury or death.

"The 'no excuse' project is now in its second year of operations and it has already increased its presence across the county.

"However, we will expand this further by running operations in conjunction with partners in Safer Neighbourhood Teams. In fact,
recent operations have already taken place in Sherborne, Wareham and Dorchester."

As always, some of the bad or careless drivers stopped by officers offered up some interesting excuses for their actions:

* A van driver in Weymouth was stopped for not having a proper view as the 'for sale' sign stuck on both front windows of the van he was driving restricted his view so much that he had to bend down to see if the road was clear enough for him to pull out.

* In Weymouth, a mechanic wasn't wearing his seatbelt as he was using a customer's car and didn't want to get the belt dirty. He received a £60 fine.

* In Blandford, a van driver was stopped for using his mobile phone. He explained to officers that he had only just picked it up – but in reality he was seen using it going through a junction, changing hands and not seeing the blue lights until the siren was used. A check of the call log showed that he had been talking for 12 minutes.

* A lady caught reading what appeared to be a map book as she drove through Blandford wanted to make it clear to officers that they were obviously mistaken as she said: "It wasn't a map book I was reading, it was a magazine."

* A taxi driver in Bournemouth was caught driving at 49mph on a road with a 30mph speed limit. He offered the excuse: "My fare got up late so he's in a hurry."

* One speeding driver in Poole gave the excuse that he was trying to fix his noisy turbo by giving it a blast.

* Officers weren't impressed when a van driver in Poole stated the reason he went through a red light was because he was reading his Sat Nav.

* A driver in Weymouth was left unimpressed after receiving a fixed penalty for stopping on the zig-zags at a crossing to do a scratch card.

Further snippets from 'no excuse' can now be viewed at www.dorsetforyou.com/facebook