‘A rat has eaten my speaker wires so my Bluetooth doesn’t work so I had to hold my phone to hear what they were saying’.
This was one of many excuses given by motorists stopped by officers working on a Surround a Town in Brentwood.
Surround a town sees SERP focus resources in a concentrated and geographically targeted area, often where there are high rates of collisions and casualties. The initiative uses a combination of enforcement and engagement to highlight the importance of safe and legal driving.
Essex Police provides a highly visible presence around the town while SERP partners interact with the public in the town centre to promote road safety.
The most recent operation in Brentwood on 26 June saw 80 drivers speeding, 15 caught using a mobile phone and a further 32 seatbelt offences were detected.
SERP road safety officers spoke to each driver after they were stopped to explain the dangers of committing such an offence. Alarmingly, many motorists offered a variety of excuses for speeding, not wearing a seatbelt or using their mobile phone.
Liam Collins, Road Safety Officer for SERP, said:
“Our role is to educate drivers around the risk attached to the fatal four driving behaviours so we were surprised to hear some of the excuses given today.
“The SERP uses an overarching campaign message of ‘no excuse for poor driving’ which we really want to drive home to people. One glance of your mobile phone might seem like a minor thing but that split second of taking your eyes of the road could have devastating consequences for you or other road users.”
Other excuses offered by drivers on the day include:
- ‘I was hot and didn’t want to get sweaty so I took my seatbelt off’
- ‘I was distracted by my children and everything going on today’
- ‘I have a black box, I’m a perfect driver, I wasn’t speeding. I’m going to lose my licence’ – ‘Why, you’ll be offered a course for speeding’ – ‘I was stopped on Sunday for speeding too’
- ‘I wasn’t talking on my phone, I was using it as a satnav and it said it was hot so I took it down and reset it, but I wasn’t talking or texting’
03 July 2018