RESULTS – OPERATION TRUCKCAM 2014 cyclists being killed or injured on Merseyside’s roads

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Officers from Merseyside Police have issued 180 road traffic offence reports, 17-fixed penalty notices and seized four vehicles as part of a campaign to crackdown on unsafe drivers and cut the number of cyclists being killed or injured on Merseyside’s roads.

The operation is aimed at drivers of commercial vehicles, particularly lorries, in Liverpool city centre and the surrounding area.

Specially trained officers have been using an unmarked bus and truck-cab throughout two weeks in February to patrol the city and the county’s motorway network. One has been driving the vehicles, whilst the other has used a handheld video camera to catch suspected offenders on film.

Drivers have been targeted who are believed to be committing offences which mean they are not in full control of the vehicle, including using handheld mobile phones, multimedia equipment and reading, eating or drinking whilst they are behind the wheel.

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Routine breath tests have also been carried out as part of the force’s on-going drink and drug driving campaign.

Chief Inspector John Hogan, Matrix Serious Organised Crime Roads Policing Unit said: “Through their sheer weight and size, heavy goods vehicles can pose a huge risk to cyclists and other road users if they are being driven carelessly.

“98 cyclists were killed or injured on Merseyside’s Roads in 2013 and we are determined to significantly reduce that number.

“This latest fortnight of action has resulted in well over 200 offences being detected, ranging from drivers not wearing seatbelts or having defective tyres through to people still using mobile phones whilst they’re behind the wheel.

“Whilst the vast majority of drivers don’t break the law, the success of this operation shows there are still some who think it’s acceptable to put other road users’ lives at risk because of how they behave.

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“Our work doesn’t stop here and we will be carrying out follow up operations over the coming months. We will also be out on major roads across Liverpool next week speaking to HGV drivers and cyclists’ alike and giving advice on safety issues.

Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England and Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain, Beverley Bell, welcomed the initiative:

She said: “Some of the behaviour that has been captured by this excellent initiative is simple unacceptable. Drivers reported for these offences are warned they will be referred to the traffic commissioners, as we are responsible for their professional driving licences. We have the power to take action and driver can lose their licenses for two weeks in cases of mobile phone abuse.

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“Overall, the commercial vehicle industry has a good record when it comes to abiding by the rules, so it is vital that the relevant enforcement agencies continue to target those who are needlessly putting other road users and themselves, at risk. By doing so they also damage the industry’s image.”

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