A CRACKDOWN on speeding drivers in Wigan has been hailed a success.
Motorists flouting the law in the borough were among those targeted by police in a week-long clampdown aimed at reducing road deaths and injuries.
In the first four days alone of the forcewide operation officers issued 680 fixed penalty notices. Of these 519 of these were for speeding, 80 for using a mobile phone while driving and 81 for not wearing seatbelts.
Officers arrested 34 drivers for drink-driving and six for dangerous driving. They also gave verbal warnings and driving advice to hundreds of others for dangerous and poor driving.
The high profile clampdown was part of Operation Dice, launched this year in response to a staggering 42 per cent increase in road deaths in 2011, equating to 75 lives lost on the county’s roads.
Roads policing and local officers have been particularly targeting the “fatal four factors” in road collisions as part of the week of action. These are speeding, drink-driving, drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts and drivers using mobile phones or being distracted through using in-car entertainment systems.
Officers warn however that this is not a one-off campaign and that they will be continuing to target dangerous drivers round the clock across the borough and beyond in the coming year.
Penalties for dangerous and careless driving include fines, penalty points, disqualification and up to 14 years imprisonment for causing a death.
Operation Dice’s enforcement work is being supported by a hard-hitting Dicing With Death public awareness campaign featuring blood spattered furry dice that informs people of the 75 road deaths last year and urges them to drive safely.
Chief Insp Rachel Buckle from Greater Manchester Police Specialist Operations Division said: “Operation Dice is all about safeguarding precious lives and saving family and friends from having to suffer the terrible devastation that losing a loved one brings.
“Speed is a major factor in pedestrian, driver and passenger fatalities. Research clearly shows that pedestrians involved in a 30mph collision generally survive while those hit at 40mph do not.
“Please slow down, make sure that you and all your passengers are wearing seat belts and switch your mobile phone off before your turn your engine on. These three simple actions can help make our roads significantly safer and save families from suffering the anguish of living through the nightmare of losing someone they love.”