Motoring operation snares more than 20 drivers between Honiton and Whiddon Down

PUBLISHED: 15:11 21 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:33 21 April 2016


Details have been revealed by officers carrying out Operation Vortex, which targets poor, inconsiderate and complacent driving across the region.

Officers from Devon, Cornwall and Dorset’s road policing team are in the middle of a week-long campaign targeting drivers who flout road traffic laws on roads.

Operation Vortex targets poor, inconsiderate and complacent driving across the region and aims to reduce the number of collisions and casualties on our roads.

A team of officers have been carrying out patrols in unmarked vehicles and on motorcycles on various roads across Devon and Cornwall, including Honiton.

So far, more than 20 offences have been detected by the team monitoring the A30 between Whiddon Down and Honiton.

Officers are observing driver behaviour and dealing with all offences they find.

Sergeant Gary Williamson, of the road policing team, said: “We are working hard to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads. The figures to September last year showed there were 44 people killed and nearly 600 seriously injured on our roads.

“It is well known that the ‘Fatal Four’ all contribute to the causes of these collisions - namely drink driving, excessive or inappropriate speed, not wearing your seat belt and using mobile devices whilst driving.

“Our aim is to ensure that the minority of road users who commit these offences are caught and dealt with appropriately.”

Op Vortex is taking place on roads across the region, including the M5, A38, A30 and the A380.

Drivers caught will face the prospect of a fine and points on their licence, a court appearance and even imprisonment for more serious offences.

Op Vortex aims to not only deal with road offences, but to also educate the public and road users on the possibly life-changing outcome that their poor driving habits could lead to.

Mr Williams said: “I’d ask motorists to consider how not having a driving licence would affect them and their livelihood, but also the possible fatal consequences of their poor driving habits and having to live with a tragedy they were responsible for.

“Law abiding road users have nothing to fear from this operation; our aim is to deal robustly with the drivers who disregard the law and drive in an antisocial and dangerous manner, putting other road users and themselves at risk.”

Operation Vortex has previously proved to be a success in Devon and Cornwall showing that roads where this type of enforcement has taken place has seen a reduction in the number of collisions that happen while the patrols are working.

Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, head of the Devon and Cornwall and Dorset’s road policing team, said: “We are reducing the overall numbers of casualties on our roads; but there is still much more to do in this area.

“We still average almost two people a day killed or seriously injured on our roads. Operations such as this shows how we strive to reduce the number of life-changing tragedies and to make the roads of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset as safe as we possibly can.”

Operation Vortex is a co-ordinated drive to reduce that number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. Despite using plain patrol vehicles, this is a high visibility operation with motorists seeing police officers dealing with motorists every few miles on a stretch of road.

Mr Leisk said: “I hope Op Vortex will act as a reminder to all road users of their responsibility, and to ensure that they drive safely and legally.

“My advice to all road users is simple - drive within the speed limit, always ensure you are fit to drive, wear your seat belt, and do not be distracted when driving.”

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