Police crack down on danger drivers in Hampshire

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DRIVERS are being targeted in a police blitz after a rise in deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

Hampshire police are clamping down on the ‘fatal four’ – speeding, drink and drug-driving and drivers not wearing seatbelts or using mobile phones at the wheel – in a force-wide crackdown launched today.

Road policing officers will be targeting Hampshire's roads

Road policing officers will be targeting Hampshire's roads

Police will impound the cars of suspected drink-drivers who are arrested after being stopped.

And in Portsmouth the campaign will see roads policing officers focus particularly on the A2047, Havant Road, Cambridge Road, B2154 Museum Road, A288 Hampshire Terrace, Jubilee Terrace and Elm Grove which have seen the most crashes involving cyclists.

Police will also target vehicles on the major roads most affected by serious crashes in order of the number of casualties. This means the A3, A27, M27, M3, A33, A32, A35, A31 and A2047 will get special attention.

There were 807 people hurt in crashes in Portsmouth last year – with 143 of them seriously injured.

A laser speed gun is used to target those going too fast

A laser speed gun is used to target those going too fast

Roads policing officers focus particularly in the Fareham district on the A27 between its junction with Farm Road, Titchfield Common and Highlands Road which have seen the most crashes involving cyclists.

Police will also target vehicles on major roads most affected by serious crashes in order of the number of casualties – the A3, A27, M27, M3, A33, A32, A35, A31 and A2047.

It comes as figures reveal 390 people in were hurt in crashes in Fareham last year – 61 of them being seriously injured.

In Gosport officers will target motorists on the B3334 Gosport Road and the A32 Gosport Road between its junctions with Mill Road roundabout and Lederle Lane which have seen the most crashes involving cyclists.

Police will also target vehicles on major roads most affected by serious crashes in order of the number of casualties – the A3, A27, M27, M3, A33, A32, A35, A31 and A2047.

Figures reveal 211 people in were hurt in crashes in Gosport last year – 30 of them being seriously injured.

And in Havant and Waterlooville roads which have seen the most crashes involving cyclists including Havant Road, the A2407 and A3 Cambridge Road will also see a crackdown.

In crashes in Havant and east Hampshire last year, 721 people in were hurt – 136 of them being seriously injured.

In total 2,987 people were injured in collisions across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, from Hampshire and Thames Valley police roads policing Joint Operations Unit, said: ‘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 practice carries with it and try to change the attitudes of those driving poorly.’

The campaign – which will initially run for six months – is being launched after an increase in fatal or serious injury crashes across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in July and August.

Police say five people died in crashes across the area in the two-month period, although none of the collisions is linked.

There was better news between January and July in the Eastern area, which covers Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant and the Isle of Wight. It saw a 14 per cent drop in crashes where people were killed or seriously injured.

There were 194 casualties in the period compared to 222 in the same period last year.

Police say despite the fall there are still too many drivers who have potentially dangerous bad driving habits.

They want to make sure motorists heed safety warnings and are aware of the tough penalties for ignoring them.

Chief Insp Bottomley 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.

‘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.’

Mobile phones

It’s illegal to drive a vehicle or ride a motorbike while using a hand-held mobile phone or any similar device. This includes smartphones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

While driving you must not use your hand-held mobile phone, smartphone or PDA to make or receive calls, picture and text messages or use the internet.

It’s also illegal to use a hand-held phone when supervising a learner driver or rider, when stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

Employers can be prosecuted for asking staff to make or receive calls while driving.

Anyone caught using a handheld mobile phone or other device illegally faces penalties ranging from a £60 fine and three points on their licence to a driving ban and £1,000 fine.

Bus or goods vehicle drivers caught flouting the law face a fine of up to £2,500.

Driving too fast

The legal drink-drive limit is 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath or 107mg of alcohol in 100ml of urine.

Convictions stay on your licence for 11 years.

Any driver refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine when asked by police faces six months in jail, a £5,000 fine and a driving ban.

Causing death by drink-driving carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail and a minimum two-year ban from the roads.

Being drunk in charge of a vehicle could result in three months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to £2,500 and a driving ban.

Drink and drug-drivers face a minimum 12-month ban, up to £5,000 in fines, a criminal record and up to six years in prison.

Drinking and driving

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £60 fine and three penalty points added to your licence.

But speeding motorists face a maximum £2,500 fine and six points on their licence.

If you already have a certain number of points on your licence, you won’t be offered a fine and you’ll have to go to court.

The difference of a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death.

Statistics show that a child hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph has an 80 per cent chance of survival.

Hit them at 35mph and there’s an 80 per cent chance they will die.

Not using a seatbelt

You are twice as likely to die in a car crash if you don’t wear a seatbelt, according to research. The law states drivers must only carry one person in each seat fitted with a seatbelt.

Anyone aged 14 years or over travelling in the vehicle is responsible for wearing their seat belt.

Children must use the correct car seat for their weight until they reach 135 cm tall or their 12th birthday, whichever comes first.

In an accident while pregnant, wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of injury to the unborn child or children by up to 70 per cent.

Doctors can issue a Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Seat Belt Wearing to exempt people from wearing a seatbelt on medical grounds.

The patient must show this to police if stopped and inform their car insurer they are travelling without a seatbelt.

Drivers caught without a seatbelt face on-the-spot fines of £60 or £500 if prosecuted.