‘My mum forgot to insure it for me today’

A SERP road safety officer engaging with members of the public
Road saftey technician Naomi Woodruff. Surround a town in Harlow along with Safer Essex road campaign.

This was one of many excuses offered by a driver during the Harlow Surround-A-Town day on Tuesday 20 July.

The driver, a man in his 30s, was originally pulled over by officers for using his mobile phone whilst driving. His car windows were also illegally tinted. After a quick check it was found he had no insurance and his car was seized by officers.

The operation saw a string of offences including an astonishing 298 speeding offences, the highest being nearly 70 miles per hour in 40 zone. Forty-five people were found not wearing their seatbelts, 13 had no insurance, 4 were pulled over for careless driving, 2 had no valid MOT and officers found 21 offences involving HGVs and caravans, such as being overweight, long driver hours and having no mirrors. Two e-scooters were also seized by officers.

The engagement team based themselves in the town centre and interacted with hundreds of shoppers on one of the hottest days of the year so far. Shoppers were interested in the free Driving with Confidence courses for older drivers, as well as the activity books for children to help them stay safe on our roads.

A police officer speaking to a motorist
PC Harry Townsend 42078351 Surround a town in Harlow along with Safer Essex road campaign.

Samantha Wright, Road Crime Operational Co-Ordinator, said: “This was a very busy day for the team, and we were shocked to see so many offences, including nearly 300 for speeding.

“One of the themes that came out of the day, was that many drivers haven’t been sufficiently maintaining their vehicles during lockdown to ensure they stay road worthy. Please get all the necessary checks and appropriate documentation for your vehicle.

“Shockingly, the man in his 30s with no insurance attempted to buy insurance on his phone whilst officers were engaging with him. Insurers will never back-date insurance, so it was obvious what he’d tried to do. He had to make his own way back to London without his car.

“Our Surround-A-Town events are so important, and we’ll continue to run them regularly across the county. These high visibility operations are to keep road-users safe and to spread the message that no death or serious injury is acceptable on Essex roads. We want to thank all those in Essex who use the roads safely – together we can work together to achieve Vision Zero.”

22 July 2021

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