The Devon and Cornwall Police are going on the offensive throughout this month to bring to book speeding, inconsiderate, bullying and downright bad drivers. I'm glad to say that they are using unmarked police cars and a motorbike and employing video recording equipment. With the limited resources available these patrols will concentrate on the M5, the A38, the A30 and the A361 North Devon Link Road.
I fully approve of them publicising this crackdown on bad driving and it's vital that the police are proactive in mounting these concerted campaigns. My hope now is that any really bad instances of dangerous and selfish driving lead to heavy penalties. One of the bonuses of videoing evidence is that this can be later shown on TV which could spur all of us towards better behaviour on the road.
One thing the police will be particularly looking out for is the use of mobile phones while driving. So the news today that immigration minister Liam Byrne has been fined for just this offence has made interesting reading. He has had to pay £100 (would have been £150 if he hadn't pleaded guilty and shown remorse we are told). And of course he has another 3 points on his license, he had three points already but for what reason I don't know. What is particularly ironic about Midlands MP Byrne's case is that he has had a special interest in road safety apparently. In mitigation Byrne said that he had been taking an important call on a deportation matter. This makes it worse I believe because the nature of the call would have required giving far more attention than say someone from home asking him to pick up a packet of corn flakes. But at least Mr Byrne did apologise which is to his credit.
The number and severity of accidents on the roads of Devon and Cornwall has been bad of late. I hope that this initiative from the police bears fruit.