A crackdown on dangerous driving jointly carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service and Transport for London (TfL) has resulted in more than 1,500 offenders being caught for traffic offences, including driving while on a mobile phone.
London’s dangerous drivers were targeted last week by the Met in partnership with TfL, in a joint week of action which resulted in 25 arrests.
From Monday 22, to Sunday 28, January, officers from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) were involved in an enforcement and education operation - Operation Safeway - to reduce road danger in the Capital.
As part of the operation, traffic officers were also engaged in the National Police Chiefs’ Council Mobile Phone Week of Action, which tackled motorists who were driving while making calls, texting and recording videos illegally from mobile phones when they should be paying attention to the road.
They also patrolled in an unmarked HGV cab, which gave them an elevated position, making it easier to spot motorists driving while using a phone. The cab was also fitted with cameras to evidentially film non-compliant drivers.
The 25 arrests included five people for drink or drug driving offences. Other arrests made included disqualified driving, assault, drugs and immigration offences.
Over 1,500 traffic-related offences were recorded throughout the week, with 636 drivers caught using mobile phones, an offence which can be subject to a £200 fine and six points on the offender’s licence.
Research has found that people using a mobile phone while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a collision, which could have tragic consequences. Another study found drivers texting at the wheel were 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision compared to a driver paying full attention.
Commander Neil Jerome, of the Territorial Policing Command, said: “The Met is working hard to reduce collisions and the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads.
“Throughout our week of action, traffic officers made several arrests and issued a substantial amount of fines against non-compliant motorists who unlawfully used hand-held mobile devices while driving, or committed other road offences which posed a very real danger to themselves, other drivers and pedestrians.
“This operation was about reminding all road users of the importance of keeping themselves safe while driving. I hope our policing activity achieved just that and motorists can certainly expect to see us carrying out similar operations throughout the year to ensure they are concentrating on safe driving.”
Siwan Hayward, Head of Transport Policing at TfL, said: "We want to send out the clear message that if you drive in London and flout the rules, you will be caught. We want London's streets to feel safe for everyone and will continue to crack down on dangerous drivers. The Mayor has set out a clear ambition in adopting Vison Zero that TfL, the police, boroughs and the community must work together to create a road network which is free from death or seriously injury. This week of action shows what we can do together and is the start of a major shift.”
The RTPC works to ensure all journeys across the road and surface transport network are safe, secure and reliable, in line with TfL’s Vision Zero commitment. Their priorities are reducing road collisions by targeting dangerous road users and managing traffic flow around incidents on the London road network; investigating the most serious collisions; carrying out cycle safety events; responding to collisions and breakdowns at tunnels and targeting the operators and drivers of freight and construction vehicles who create danger to road users and pedestrians on London's roads.