Crime & PolicingNEWS

North Yorkshire Police crackdown on ‘horrendous’ driving and motorcycling

North Yorkshire Police is today intensifying its response to “horrendous” driving and motorcycling, amid worries there will be fatalities this weekend if it continues.

On Wednesday evening in Craven, a motorcyclist was clocked at 63mph in a 30mph village.

Around 20 speeding offences were recorded within just 45 minutes at the same location – the A65 in Coniston Cold. A quarter of them involved speeds above 46mph in the 30mph limit.

Recently police also stopped a car driver travelling at 132mph on the A19 near Thirsk. Speeds of 122mph on the A64 and 117mph on the A168 have also been recorded in the last few weeks.

Officers believe a minority of drivers and motorcyclists are exploiting quieter roads. Now traffic levels are rising after some lockdown restrictions were eased, and more cyclists and pedestrians are using the roads. This presents an even greater risk of casualties.

To prevent this, Roads Policing Officers and the safety camera van fleet are out in force. Anyone using the roads this weekend is being advised there will be a highly-visible police presence.

Police will be enforcing all road offences as normal. But there will be a strong emphasis on speed enforcement in communities where residents have highlighted concerns, as well as on roads with a high casualty rate and other hotspots.

Superintendent Paula Booth said: “Based on the incidents we’ve been dealing with, I am genuinely concerned we’ll be experiencing fatalities this weekend. We really don’t want that to happen.

“We’re seeing some horrendous driving and riding, and we know that more than 90% of the fatal collisions we investigate are caused by driver or rider error.

“These road users aren’t just creeping a few miles an hour above the speed limit. They are taking to the road with the express intention of using it as a racetrack. Enough is enough – this will not be allowed continue.”

Supt Booth added that residents across North Yorkshire – especially in rural communities served by A-roads and B-roads – are worried by the influx of speeding traffic.

“Residents are scared for the safety of their families and communities, and we are intensifying our response to these road safety concerns,” she said.

“We’re doing everything we can to save lives – but motorists also need to do their part by sticking to the rules of the road to keep everyone safe. If they don’t, they will be dealt with accordingly. Please reduce your speed and save lives”.

This week, North Yorkshire Police joined the national ‘Slow Down and Save Lives’ campaign, which aims to keep road users safe as more traffic returns to the roads.

Officers across the country will be carrying out speed enforcement operations. On average, 17 people are killed and 126 are seriously injured every month in the UK in crashes where speeding is believed to have been a significant factor.

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