Police Target Bad Driving In Hampshire

Hampshire Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit is launching a crackdown on bad driving behaviour in a bid to further reduce the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on Hampshire's and the Isle of Wight's Roads.

Between January 1 and June 30 this year, the two counties have seen a 22 per cent reduction in fatal or serious injury casualties compared to the same period in 2011. In total there were 102 fewer casualties than in the previous year.

Fatal or serious injury collisions in the Eastern Area, incorporating Havant, Fareham and Gosport, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, were down 14 per cent from 222 to 194 (28 fewer casualties).

In the Western Area - Southampton, Eastleigh, Romsey and New Forest - fatal or serious injury collisions were down 12 per cent from 182 to 162 (20 fewer casualties.

And in the Northern Area - Basingstoke, Andover, Hart and Rushmoor and Winchester and East Hampshire - they were down by 51 per cent from 160 to 106 (54 fewer casualties).

Since this time period there has been an increase in fatal or serious injury collisions, notably on the Isle of Wight where in July and August there were five fatalities in a mixture of circumstances. None of the collisions were linked in any way.

The operation will run for an initial six months and will target drivers using mobile phones at the wheel, drink-drivers, speeding motorists and those not wearing seatbelts - the four main trends in fatal or serious injury crashes.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, of Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police roads policing Joint Operations Unit, said:

"We take a risk every time we get into our car. And the less responsible you are when driving, the greater that risk becomes.

"We all know that using mobile phones at the wheel distracts you from the road, we know that alcohol affects your response times and we know that not wearing a seatbelt can increase your chances of dying in a crash. We also know that the faster we drive, the more likely the risk of us dying if we crash or killing someone else if we hit them.

"We're in a position where lives are being lost or heavily impacted by collisions which could be prevented by a bit of common sense and consideration.

"The aim of this crackdown is to really hammer home the risks that bad driving practise carries with it and try to change the attitudes of those driving poorly."

Roads policing teams from across the two counties will be targeting vehicles on major roads most affected by serious road traffic collisions - in order of casualty number - the A3, A27, M27, M3, A33, A32, A35, A31 and the A2047.

While targeting offending drivers in routine for the RPU, the campaign will see an increased focus on the 'fatal four' - the four issues most likely to result in serious injury or death on our roads: speeding, distraction, impairment and seatbelts.

Anyone found to be not wearing seatbelts will received fixed penalty tickets and those using mobile phones or other devises or speeding could face a fine or the courts. All drink-drivers will be arrested and their car impounded while they are in custody.

Officers will also be focusing on routes which have seen the most collisions involving cyclists, such as;

*Portsmouth - the A2047, Havant Road, A3 Cambridge Road, B2154 Museum Road, A288 Hampshire Terrace, Jubilee Terrace, and Elm Grove.

*Gosport - B3334 Gosport Road, A32 Gosport Road, between its junctions with Mill Rd roundabout and Lederle Lane

*Fareham - A27 between its junctions with Farm Road, Titchfield Common and Highlands Road

*Southampton A3024 between its junctions with Hawkeswood Road and A334 Bitterne Road East
*A3057 Shirley High Street and Shirley Road, A3025 Central Bridge, Royal Crescent Road, B3039 Salt Marsh Road, A33 March Lane, A33 Terminus Terrace and Pound Tree Road

*New Forest B3054 between Hill Top and Hatchet Moor.

Chief Inspector Bottomley added:

"By taking responsibility for your own safety and your duty to the safety of other road users we can significantly reduce fatal or serious injury collisions in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

"Sadly there are people out there who don't take this duty of care seriously and these are the people we will be cracking down on in the coming months.

"The aim here is to change drivers' attitudes when they get behind the wheel.

"You may pass your test as a teenager and never do it again so there's scope to get into bad habits and these are what cause collisions."