Safety week reduces crashes
on the M1 by a third


Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team took part in a week-long safety operation, which saw collisions on the M1 motorway reduce by a third.

Almost 200 dangerous drivers were stopped and hundreds given safety tips at motorway services as part of M1 safety week, which took place between May 13 and 19.

The number of incidents during the Highways England initiative fell from 90 collisions during the previous week to 64 during the week of action.

The event also recorded the fourth lowest number of collisions of 2019 and the second lowest outside school holidays.

The week saw all three of Highways England’s unmarked HGV supercabs take to the M1 to capture dangerous driving.

Similar safety initiatives are now being planned for other motorways across England following the success of the M1 week of action.

Northamptonshire Police was one of the forces involved.

PC Dave Lee from the Safer Roads Team (pictured left) said: “It is always disappointing to catch drivers breaking the law. However, with a high number of motorists observed throughout the operation, these figures show it’s a small minority who continue to commit these types of offences.

“Our main priority is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by clamping down on the fatal four offences, which are speeding, drink and drug driving, seatbelt and mobile phone use.

"Working with our partners on such operations enables us to take a strong and robust approach to identify road traffic offences.”

The HGV supercabs, which are funded by Highways England, allow police officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles, and drivers are then pulled over by police cars following a short distance behind.

They have derestricted speed limiters which mean they can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit, and flashing lights have been installed for use by police forces in an emergency. The supercabs were used by six police forces during the M1 week of action.

The offences detected included 57 drivers on mobile phones, 37 not wearing seatbelts and 26 who were driving carelessly or not in proper control of their vehicles.

Police officers filed 133 traffic offence reports – usually requiring drivers to attend a driver education course – and there were also five prosecutions for more serious offences.

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