195 tickets issued during one-day ‘no excuse’ operation in Dorchester - did you get one?
By alfiebass | Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 15:40
A total of 195 motoring offences were detected by police officers during Dorset Road Safe’s one-day ‘no excuse’ operation in Dorchester on Wednesday 3 November.
Partners in the No Excuse campaign
This was the second ‘Surround a Town’ operation in Dorchester as part of the year-long ‘no excuse’ campaign, roughly six months after the first on Wednesday 19 May.
Once again, the proportion of offences by people not wearing a seatbelt was high, at nearly 30 per cent of the tickets issued by police officers on the day.
Of the 44 people caught not wearing a seatbelt, 33 took the opportunity to take part in an education course at the Brownsword Hall in Poundbury rather than paying the full £60 penalty charge.
Teams of Dorset Police officers using marked and unmarked cars and bikes and Dorset Road Safe safety camera operators were deployed on major, town centre and residential roads around Dorchester throughout the working day.
The total number of offences detected last Wednesday (195) was 30 per cent lower than the 287 on 19 May.
Of these, the total number of speeding offences increased, from 37 in May to 54 in November (with the majority of these detected on Middle Farm Way). The number of seatbelt offences was down from 61 to 44, although as a percentage of the total number of offences, they rose from 30 per cent in May to 48 per cent in November.
Meanwhile, the number of people caught using a mobile phone while driving was almost identical – 15 in November compared to 14 in May.
Other offences included a high number of vehicles (21) with no MOT, two people driving while not in proper control of their vehicle, one vehicle with bald tyres and two carrying dangerous loads.
Members of the public voiced their frustration at various locations, saying they were 'fed up seeing drivers on their mobiles'. Residents in Poundbury, where the ‘no excuse’ team set up base, were very welcoming, saying they were glad to see them and asking the team to target drivers speeding along Middle Farm Way.
The ‘no excuse’ enforcement teams again heard a range of colourful excuses from motorists caught behaving dangerously throughout the day, including:
• A male driver who was caught speeding while eating a pasty said he was in a rush to get to McDonalds to get a coffee and have a fag. A good reason to risk your life?
• A male driver who was stopped as he was in a rush to get to a tyre outlet as he had a nail in his tyre but hadn’t bothered wearing his seatbelt, hugely increasing his risk of injury.
• A motorcyclist who decided to overtake an unmarked police car at 77mph in a 40mph zone. To make it worse, he overtook over double white lines. The rider already had nine points for speeding, so had clearly not learned his lesson.
• A lot of the drivers who were caught speeding in Poundbury en-route to the hospital, having not left enough time for their journey. A few tried to plead 'you've made me late now' but were quickly told that they had made themselves late.
• A young woman who was stopped using a mobile phone and told officers it was an emergency call. When asked who she was calling, she replied: "It’s an emergency. I'm phoning my mum to let her know I've got a doctor’s appointment". She received a fixed penalty.
• The driver of a coach full of passengers that was stopped for speeding at 43 mph in a 30 zone. He was very embarrassed in front of all his passengers and stated: "I'm very sorry, I'm clearly in the wrong but I thought it was a 40 mph".
• A fully laden, 16-tonne brewery truck that was stopped speeding at 43 in the 30 mph limit.
• A heavy goods vehicle that was stopped travelling at 99 mph on the A35 Puddletown Bypass. The driver braked hard when the blue lights went on, with the back of the truck snaking on the road. Officers also found that his two front tyres were bald, with one showing the cord. The driver said: "I know they needed changing, I just haven't had time because I've got a lot on”. The officers pointed out that if he killed someone, life would be much more stressful. His crew mate has now refused to travel with him in future.