Dorset Police 'Surround' Bournemouth!

The Dorset Road Safe 'no excuse' team has spent a day focusing on getting their message across to people living and driving in and around Bournemouth.

They held a special event called 'Surround A Town' on Tuesday 21st June.

Recent statistics continue to show an alarmingly high percentage of people are continuing to speed, drive when on the mobile phone and failing to wear a seatbelt.

The 'no excuse' campaign has now processed in excess of 22,000 motor related offences of which over 12,500 were Officer Issued Tickets (OIT's). Of the OIT's 35 per cent of the tickets issued have been for failing to wear a seat belt.

During the day, those drivers detected and stopped by the 'no excuse' team for not wearing a seatbelt (at the police officers discretion) were offered the chance to attend a seat belt course during the day. In a collision, the likelihood of a driver and passengers surviving unharmed is drastically reduced if an appropriate seat belt/restraint is not worn.

The general feedback from people caught not wearing a seat belt during previous enforcement is that more education is needed on the dangers of drivers and passengers not wearing a seat belt as well as the legislative side of the offence.

Despite the law being in place for 27 years, some road users still believe that it is a personal choice whether they wear a seat belt or not.

From the areas enforced on the day on the A338, A3060, A3049 and other roads & B3157 the following statistics were recorded.

341 Offences detected in total
209 Safety Camera Van Offences (Exceeding the Speed Threshold)
132 Officer issued Tickets (OITs)

Out of the OIT's

53% of the tickets issued (70 tickets) were for seatbelt offences (out of those ticketed 54 people (77%) took the offer of the seatbelt course (designed to educate so is free & with no points or fine).

19 Mobile Phone offences.
28 Speed offences
6 No MOT
2 No Insurance
1 No Driving Licence
2 Not in Proper Control
1 Overtaking on a Pelican Crossing
2 Document offences/checks
1 Contravening a Red Traffic Light.

But the aim of the day wasn't just to target careless and dangerous drivers, but also to boost awareness of the consequences of dangerous driving among local people and visitors.

Police officers, fire fighters, trading standards, council staff and other partners will be at a number of locations around the town talking to people, sharing road safety advice and explaining what the aims of no excuse and the responsibility we all have in reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.


  A further 1,422 bad or careless drivers were caught by the "no excuse" team for the period 1st - 31st May 2011.

This brings the year to date totals (17th January 2011 - 31st May 2011) to 5,710 offences of which 3,548 were Officer Issued Ticket's (OIT's).

Compared with the same period in 2010, this represents a 3% fall in the number of offences processed.

Encouragingly, the percentage of mobile phone and seatbelt offences tickets issued by officers has also decreased
" from 16% to 14% for mobile phone offences and
" from 36% to 28% for seatbelt offences.

Conversely the number of speed offences processed overall increased by 6% (602 more offences processed) compared to the same period in 2010.

A snapshot survey of drivers' seatbelt wearing habits was undertaken across Dorset County Council , Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Councils areas in May. The results of this survey were very encouraging with a 3% increase in 'wearing rates' compared to the same time 6 months ago (in October 2010 93% of drivers were observed wearing seatbelts. In May 2011 96% of drivers were observed wearing seatbelts).

The average seatbelt wearing rate is now 96%. More than 80% of those drivers observed not wearing seatbelts were males and a majority were found to be van, light goods or taxi drivers.

Chief Inspector Bob Nichols commented:

"Provisional figures for January to May this year show that there were 115 people killed or seriously injured on Dorset's roads this year compared to 140 for the same period in 2010. This continued downward trend underlines why the Dorset Road Safe partners are committed to 'no excuse' and perhaps why public support has been so strong."

Encouragingly, the support from the public for 'no excuse' and the education options offered as disposal methods for offences continue - examples are:

- One gent said "I've been caught by no excuse and I thought the DAS [Driver Awareness Scheme] was brilliant, I learnt a lot and it should be compulsory for everyone, every 5 years"

- A resident in Old Wareham Road came out and offered officers carrying out laser checks some refreshments.

- A journalist observing how the officers worked commented that she thought 'no excuse' was a great idea and could clearly see that the public are on the officer's side especially with the option of attending a course instead of prosecution, points and fines.

Check out some of the excuses people have given after being stopped by police for not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, or talking on their phones whilst driving:

-A gent was stopped for using his mobile phone and his immediate response was "I can't believe it, I don't usually use it and I get really XXXXX off when I see people driving whilst using their phone" - lesson learnt.

-One rider stopped on his motorbike for speeding said "I know about the campaign and there is no excuse".

-Whilst conducting Laser checks in Glenfurness Avenue a gent was stopped for 42mph in the 30 limit. Officers explained that they were there for 'no excuse' and because of local residents complaining of speeding vehicles, his reply was - "I know, I live here and I wrote in to complain about them last week".

-A van driver was stopped for speeding by an officer in an unmarked car. At the end of the conversation he stated, " I have one request, can you get a blue light on the roof so I can see you next time". He took it all in good spirit!

- One driver stopped for not being in proper control did accept that doing up his tie with both hands whilst looking in the rear view mirror - narrowly avoiding crashing - was not a good idea.