Officers from Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Tactical Support Team worked alongside Somerset Passenger Solutions in a dedicated operation last week to crack down on road related offences in Bridgwater. Operation Top Deck saw officers identify, engage and prosecute drivers committing road traffic offences which ultimately lead to dangerous and inconsiderate driving.
Officers patrolled Bridgwater town centre in a double-decker bus provided by Somerset Passenger Solutions to enable them to gain an elevated view of drivers inside vehicles. This approach is especially effective to identify drivers using mobile phones whilst at the wheel but also drivers who are distracted by mobile phones whilst driving.
During the four-hour operation, officers identified 32 road traffic offences being committed which resulted in 28 drivers being issued with a fine and/or penalty points and four drivers being summons to court.
The offences identified included:
- 13 driving without wearing a seatbelt
- Nine driving while using a mobile phone
- two driving without a valid driving licence
- four driving without insurance
- one driving whilst disqualified
- two driving without MOT
- one driving an untaxed vehicle
Operation Top Deck also resulted in officers stopping a vehicle that contained an individual wanted by the courts for a separate offence. He was subsequently arrested and remanded in custody.
Two officers sat on the top deck of the bus to observe and evidentially video drivers within their vehicles committing road traffic offences. The offending vehicle was then reported to a supporting policing unit who intercepted them at a check point and dealt with the driver.
Simon Cursio, Managing Director of Somerset Passenger Solutions, said: “We are very pleased we have been able to play such a positive part in improving safety in our local community, helping to make the roads of Bridgwater and Somerset even safer for all.”
Chief Inspector Jason Shears, Roads Policing Lead for Avon and Somerset Constabulary, added: “Safety on our roads is a priority for our force and we will not hesitate to use every option available to us, including using unmarked vehicles to tackle dangerous driving.”