Speeding van drivers caught in undercover blitz

Police stopped 88 vehicles during the operation
Police stopped 88 vehicles during the operation

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POLICE issued 47 tickets in a three-day blitz on speeding van drivers.

Roads policing officers in an unmarked car stopped 88 light goods vehicles during Operation Incus on the A3 and A27 near Havant.

In total 47 tickets were issued including two £200 fixed penalty notices, 39 tickets for offences including speeding, using a mobile phone at the wheel and driving without a seatbelt, and six for offences relating to licensing, insurance and invalid MOT certificates.

A further 41 were given warnings regarding vehicle defects and speeding.

Sergeant Paul Diamond, Joint Operations Unit roads policing sergeant for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said: ‘This was not about dishing out fines – although some offences were too serious to avoid it. ‘It was about increasing awareness of the law and improving driving behaviour in order to reduce serious injury or fatal collisions on our roads.

‘For this reason some of the 39 drivers who received tickets will qualify to be offered education as an alternative to prosecution.

‘These Driver Awareness Training courses are paid for by the offending driver.

‘Of course we are not saying that van drivers are responsible for every collision they may be involved in. But it’s important to remind drivers that speed limits are there for a reason. No job or delivery is so important that it’s worth risking your life for.’

The crackdown was launched after figures showed that of 451 collisions involving light goods vehicles on Hampshire and Isle of Wight roads last year, 83 resulted in death or serious injury – 10 more than in 2010 – despite a greater number of crashes overall.

So far this year there have been 218 crashes involving light goods vehicles – resulting in three deaths and 37 of which resulted in serious injury.

Light goods vehicles flouting speed limits for their vehicle’s class – 60mph on dual carriageways for goods vehicles weighing less than 7.5 tonnes – were targeted.

Police say many drivers stopped were unaware of speed limitations on light goods vehicles on dual carriageways.

Sgt Diamond said: ‘After seeing a spike in last year’s fatal and serious injury collision figures involving light goods vehicles, it was clear that there are some drivers out there who are either not aware that their maximum speed is 60mph on dual carriageways, 10mph below car drivers, or who are knowingly driving at excess speed.

‘Inappropriate speed is one of a number of known factors that heighten the risk of having a collision. The risk is increased further if the vehicle is poorly loaded, poorly maintained or driven without care and attention.’