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Working together to make our roads safer

Working together to make our roads safer

BFRS has leant its support to a multi-agency operation aimed at helping to make our roads a safer place to travel.

Running over five hours from 7.30am to 12.30pm, road safety officers from Thames Valley and Hampshire Police Joint Operations Unit, supported by Travel Safe Bucks and National Highways, used Marlow Fire Station as a base to help educate and inform drivers.

Monitoring the A404, the uniformed team stopped vehicles with defective lights, and commercial vehicles seen committing moving traffic offences such as transporting unsecured loads.

The vehicles were then brought into the fire station car park, which provided a safe working environment for them to educate the drivers about any offences identified.

Currently having an insecure load carries three penalty points on your driving licence and £100 fine.

Highways safety advice:

Colin Evans from National Highways said: “We took the opportunity to inform the drivers of the risks an unsecured load poses to them and other road users if the items fall out of moving vehicles and onto the carriageway during transit or are catapulted though windscreens when the driver breaks.

“It also poses a risk to our Highway Traffic Officers who patrol the road network and routinely collect hundreds of chain saws, buckets, ladders and other builder’s items which have not been strapped down for transit. Each time they have to stop the traffic on these fast roads, to collect items which pose a hazard to other drivers, their own lives are put at risk.

All of those stopped accepted the advice and ensured their loads were secure before continuing their journey as an alternative to a prosecution.

Three of the vehicles stopped were found to be overweight, and the drivers were asked to remove the excess weight onto another vehicle before their journey could continue.

Colin added: “An overweight vehicle puts excess pressure on the axle and braking system making the vehicle potentially dangerous and not in a position to stop effectively.

The drivers were also breathalysed as part of Operation Holly, the unit’s annual drink and drug drive campaign, and given “morning after the night before” information by Travel Safe Bucks.

The Marlow initiative took place on Wednesday 15 December 2021, as part of the month-long crackdown on drink and drug driving, which ran over the festive period 1 December 2021 to 1 January 2022.

Police perspective:

PC Liz Johnson of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit said: “One driver was found to have no driving licence and therefore was not insured. He could not be allowed to continue and received a ticket. The driver’s manager was required to attend and received education about the need to check all driver’s documents rather than a prosecution for causing the offence of no licence or insurance.

“There were no arrests made or signs of impaired driving, which is really positive, and all drivers were receptive to the advice given.”

Together we can do more:

Station Commander Jamie Humphrey said: “Our Marlow crew were very keen to support this joint initiative and offer their station as the base location for our partners to work safely on this operation.

“Each week firefighters from across Bucks and Milton Keynes are called out to attend incidents on our roads, and we will offer any support we can to helping educate and inform drivers, reducing incident numbers and making our roads safer places for all the people who travel or work on them.”

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