'Simple checks could save lives' - Operation Dragoon team up with neighbouring Forces as part of national road safety campaign
20 Jul | 16:40

Officers have stopped drivers of HGVs and cars throughout the week to raise awareness of the potential dangers & take enforcement action where appropriate

A few simple checks could save lives.

That’s the message from Northumbria Police’s Operation Dragoon team this week as they support a national road safety campaign led by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC).

The week of action intends to remind drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) to ensure their loads are secure and any freight correctly stored – or risk ruining more than one life forever.

Officers are also stopping cars to promote the importance of keeping up to date with regular vehicle checks, including ensuring tyres are safe and legal, and that brakes, lights and water are all operating in good working order.

This week, Operation Dragoon – Northumbria Police’s dedicated road safety team – have teamed up with North Yorkshire Police and Durham Constabulary along with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency as part of the regional enforcement of Commercial Vehicle Week.

Sergeant Glen Robson, who is overseeing the week of action, said: “We know first-hand of the devastating consequences that unsecure loads or poor vehicle conditions can lead to.

“If you get behind the wheel of a HGV or a car and have not checked that your vehicle is in a good working condition, you are potentially putting lives in danger.

“We all have a responsibility to make our roads as safe as they possibly can be – and ultimately reduce the risk of a serious or even fatal collision that destroys families and lives forever.

“That’s what operations like this are all about, and throughout this week, you will see us across our region’s roads proactively stopping drivers of HGVs and cars to help raise awareness. We will also be taking enforcement action when there is a clear breach of the law, or if a driver is recklessly putting lives in danger through the condition of their vehicle.”

This week, Operation Dragoon along with colleagues from North Yorkshire Police and Durham Constabulary have been carrying out proactive checks in Washington, Scotch Corner and Bowburn. Further activity is planned throughout the rest of the week.

Traffic Sergeant Andrew Morton, who is leading the operation for North Yorkshire Police, said: 
“Commercial vehicles are on our roads daily and play an important part in our economy - we are using this operation to ensure they are used safely and within the law.

“Road users are at risk if a large commercial vehicle or load is unsafe. Any item capable of being thrown from or bouncing out of a vehicle needs to be secured whatever vehicle it is being carried on, whether it’s a plastic bucket or wheelbarrow, steel beams or heavy plant equipment. Even small items can kill or seriously injure someone if they come off a vehicle at speed.

“In partnership with Durham Constabulary and Northumbria Police, we want to work with drivers and the entire industry to reduce the risk associated with the use of these vehicles on our roads, so everyone gets home safely at the end of the working day.

"We are asking commercial drivers to play their part by making sure that everything they carry is secured and the vehicles they load are safe and legal before they set off.”

A Durham Constabulary spokesperson added: “The results from this week of action so far have been excellent with several vehicles stop checked for defects.

“As well as enforcement, there is a key focus on education this week, it’s about making drivers aware of what to look out for.

“Undoubtedly, the joint work undertaken will help make our roads safer for us all. Simply, take a few minutes and carry out those checks – it could save a life.”

Officers are asking motorists to carry out simple checks before setting off to make sure they are as safe as possible on the region’s roads.

Please check your tyres, brakes, oil, lights and water levels prior to any journey, and any item capable of being thrown from or bouncing out of a vehicle must be secured.

Drivers are also reminded of the speed restrictions that are in place for their class of vehicle and ensure they are adhered to at all times.

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