On Air Now
Heart's Feel Good Weekend with Zoe Hardman 6am - 10am
As part of the latest Surround a Town event, a total of 167 motoring offences were detected in and around Dorchester on just one day.
Of the 167 offences detected on Wednesday 23 May 2012, and around 124 (74%) of them were for speeding.
A further 27 tickets were issued to drivers for not wearing a seatbelt. A total of 81% of these people took the opportunity to attend a free seatbelt awareness course held at Brownsword Hall, Dorchester.
In addition, seven motorists were caught driving while using a mobile phone.
A variety of other motoring offences were detected including vehicles being driven with no MOT, insurance or tax and cars being driven with bald tyres.
A Surround a Town event was also held in Dorchester in May 2010. On that occasion a total of 287 motoring offences were detected – this shows 42% fewer offences were detected at this year's event compared to the 2010 Surround a Town.
Brian Austin, 'no excuse' Project Manager, said:
"It is very encouraging to see such a significant decrease in the number of offences detected in Dorchester during this year's event compared to 2010.
"Hopefully this reduction in offences shows that our road safety messages are being followed by motorists.
"The recent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on Dorset's roads has been achieved largely by the safe and responsible driving techniques being used by the majority of the motorists on our roads."
As well as the extra enforcement activity that took place during yesterday's Surround a Town event, Dorset Road Safe staff and partners engaged with local school children.
As part of the day's events, a team of skilled professionals worked with a group of 320 children from Dorchester Middle School to deliver education and advice on cycle safety.
In addition to this, all students were offered the opportunity to have their bicycles serviced and repaired for free by our colleagues at Cycling Sports Group CSG.
During the Surround a Town event, road and personal safety advice was delivered to children with learning difficulties at Wyvern School in Weymouth.
Judy Gage, Head of Secondary Department at Wyvern School, said:
"It was a fantastic day thoroughly enjoyed by students and staff.
"Personal safety is a significant part of our curriculum at Wyvern and yesterday's event has reinforced key messages in a varied and dynamic way.
"It was also a great opportunity for students to interact with the police and fire service, learning about their roles and how they can help us.
"It was an event we would be keen to repeat."
As well as the free seatbelt courses being held at Brownsword Hall, the award winning Dorset Road Safe 50/50 car was on display and members of the public were able to take part in vision screening and reaction tests.
Dorset Fire and Safer Neighbourhood teams were at the Tesco store in Dorchester engaging with the community and providing them with road safety advice.
Several members of the public in the car park assisted officers when they saw a woman drive in while using her mobile phone. They reported her to officers on the site and the woman was spoken to by the police and received a warning and driving advice from one of the advanced driving instructors.
Brian Austin continued:
"The Surround a Town events are just one of the tools we use to increase safety on Dorset's roads.
"The vast majority of the feedback we received from the event in Dorchester was extremely positive and I would like to thank the local schools and Tesco for their support.
"Most of the drivers caught during the day accepted that they were in the wrong and that they had no excuse for the offences they committed."
As always, some of the drivers stopped for traffic offences produced some unusual comments and behaviour.
Brian Austin said:
"The driver of an escort vehicle towing an abnormal load happily drove past a marked police car whilst texting. He didn't even notice the police car and was somewhat shocked when the unmarked police bike caught him up and issued him with a ticket.
"One driver claimed it wasn't his fault he was on the phone while driving – it was his wife's as she didn't stop calling him.
"A man driving his friend's BMW overtook an unmarked police bike and regretted it when he received his speeding ticket for doing 98 miles per hour on the Tolpuddle Bypass.
"Another man tried to explain to officers he wasn't wearing his seatbelt as he thought there was a wasp in his car and he was trying to avoid it.
"One driver was caught on a laser camera travelling at 129 miles per hour in an Audi on the Tolpuddle Bypass."