Don’t read this if you’re driving

A DRIVER reading a newspaper at the wheel and another texting at a busy crossroads were among those caught during a crackdown on road offences in the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales.

Operation Lifeguard has seen officers heading out on the county’s roads to target drivers committing one of the ‘fatal four’ factors that contribute to road collisions – speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone at the wheel and driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

It is part on an ongoing campaign to make Derbyshire’s roads safer through enforcement and educational activities.

On Friday, November 23, officers from Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team and the Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST) stopped vehicles near the roundabout where Bakewell Road meets Fairfield Road.

Among the stops were 70 drivers for seatbelt offences and 16 for using their phones at the wheel. More than 50 vehicles also had their tanks checked for red diesel, with one driver being fined £560 for illegal use of the fuel.

Chief Inspector Steve Wilson, head of Roads Policing, said: “Some drivers just don’t realise how seriously the fatal four can affect your chance of being involved in serious or even fatal collision.

“It’s astounding that many drivers don’t wear their seatbelts, which save lives, or use their phones while at the wheel, and simply shocking that someone would have a newspaper on their lap while on the road, too.”

The operation’s launch week last week coincided with the national charity BRAKE’s annual road safety campaign.