New operation launched to target inconsiderate drivers
Police in Essex have launched a new road safety operation to
curb the menace of inconsiderate drivers and
Operation Safeway will target bullying tailgaters who drive too
close, such as the driver shown in the video clip
below, impatient drivers who undertake, those who overtake on
roundabouts and others whose behaviour put innocent lives at
The operation is being carried out in response to growing public
concern about poor driving standards that have led to fears for the
safety of all road users.
Police will be using cars and motorbikes fitted with video
cameras to make sure that offenders are dealt with quickly and
efficiently without officers spending time in court.
Drivers who commit more serious offences will be prosecuted for
careless driving but the majority are more likely to be sent on an
educational driving course in an effort to improve overall rider
and driver behaviour.
The footage above was recorded from an unmarked police car
travelling at 70mph in a line of traffic in the outside lane
on the M25 near Epping. The police car was tailgated by a van whose
driver flashed his lights and took both hands off the wheel at the
same time to make gestures at the officer driving the car. At one
point the van was estimated to be less than 1ft from the rear of
the police car. The van driver was later stopped and given a fixed
Sgt Simon Willsher of the Essex Police Casualty Reduction Unit
said: "Many drivers do not realise that they can be prosecuted for
inconsiderate driving when it also careless driving. For example,
if someone is tailgating because they aren’t paying attention and
don’t think about stopping distances they can go on a National
Driver Alertness Course without going through court or having
penalty points on their driving licences.
"If, on the other hand, they are tailgating because they are
impatient and trying to bully people out of the way they can be
prosecuted for careless driving.
"We will be looking at drivers whose driving is not up the
standard expected of a competent full licence holder. This could
include impatience at junctions, undertaking and any other
situation where a driver or rider may be inconvenienced or placed
at risk by the behaviour of another driver.
"By using cars and motorbikes with video recording equipment we
can speed up the court process and it may not be necessary for
officers to go to court for cases that are contested.
"We anticipate that the majority of offences discovered will be
dealt with by sending drivers on educational courses where they
will be shown video evidence of how inconsiderate driving can cause
crashes and put lives at risk. We want to change driver behaviour
for the better rather than fine them or give them penalty points on
Essex Police's Casualty Reduction Manager Adam Pipe said:
"Police and Essex County Council’s Casualty Reduction Board are
receiving increasing numbers of complaints and concerns in relation
to poor driving behaviour.
"Poor driving behaviour features as a factor within many road
traffic collisions which all too often lead to fatal or serious
injuries. These behaviours can also lead to minor collisions that
can serious delays and disruption to busy main routes such as the
A12, A13 and M25 and M11.
"We have always taken action against inconsiderate drivers,
however we recognise increasing opportunities to refer offenders on
to educational courses rather than prosecution through the courts
in an effort to improve rider and driver behaviour.”
Operation Safeway will run alongside various other road safety
operations and the successful No Excuses campaign currently being
carried out by Essex Police and Essex County Council.