Police operation puts focus on driving safety

JPCT-13-10-11 S11420311a Police safety check, outside Fire Station, Hurst Road, Horsham. officers pull over vehicle drivers who are not wearing seat belts or using mobile phones whilst in motion. -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-13-10-11 S11420311a Police safety check, outside Fire Station, Hurst Road, Horsham. officers pull over vehicle drivers who are not wearing seat belts or using mobile phones whilst in motion. -photo by steve cobb

MORE THAN 40 people were caught for driving offences in the space of two hours on one stretch of Horsham road last Thursday.

Horsham firefighters and police officers joined forces once again for Operation Airwalk - a campaign designed to highlight the dangers of offences like not wearing your seatbelt and using a mobile phone whilst driving.

A total of 33 drivers travelling through Hurst Road were caught without a seatbelt, while eight were on their mobile phones.

More than 35 of those caught were men, and the largest amount of offenders fell into age group 25 to 35. Seven offenders were aged 65 and over.

Bob Trevis, Horsham neighbourhood policing team, said: “When they get pulled over they have the option to get reported or to come up and get educated as to why they should be wearing a seatbelt.

“We will show them some videos and try and persuade them in graphic terms to wear one.

“The majority of them come in and listen to the spiel and take a lot away from the session.

“Although you will get a percentage of people who won’t change there mind and continue to put their lives and the lives of others at risk.”

Out of the 41 offenders only one chose to be reported instead of watching the short educational video.

Al Green, watch manager at Horsham Fire Station, added: “Most drivers think that not wearing a seatbelt isn’t a problem because the airbag would save them.

“But this isn’t the case. I have been to accidents were people have been killed on impact by not wearing a seatbelt and they’ve been travelling at less than 30mph. Having one won’t work without the other.

“If you’re on the phone and some kid runs out in front of you, not only have you got to spend the next ten years in prison, but you have to live with that for the rest of your life.”

A spokesperson from Sussex Police said: “Police issue a fixed penalty notice - usually of £30 - to anyone not wearing a seatbelt.

“Drivers using mobile phones will receive a £60 fine, three points on their license and will be made to appear before magistrates’ court.”

l On Ollie McAteer’s page this week he gives a personal account of watching the police video footage.