Speeding drivers are being targeted as part of a week-long campaign across Cleveland and Durham.
The initiative, aimed at getting motorists to reduce their speed, will see officers from the forces’ joint operations unit working in both marked and unmarked cars to target law-flouting motorists.
The Europe-wide campaign, coordinated by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), will begin today and police will be carrying out additional education and enforcement activity
across both force areas.
Chief Inspector Graham Milne, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU), said: “Driving at 35mph as opposed to 30mph can mean that a vehicle can take a further six meters to come to a stop.
“Speed limits are put in place for a reason and travelling at even just a few miles over the limit can be deadly.”
In the last 12 months, a total of 20,823 speeding offences were detected in Cleveland and Durham.
Chief Insp Milne continued: “That is thousands of lives potentially put at risk because of inconsiderate drivers.
“It is heart-breaking to see the devastation caused when our officers have to deliver the news to someone that their loved one has been killed or seriously injured as a result of a collision.
“It is our job to reduce the risk of people being fatally or seriously injured on our roads, and that is why these campaigns are so crucial.”
This operation follows on from the earlier TISPOL speed campaign in April this year, when in just seven days, 557 drivers were found to be breaking the speed limits across the two force areas.
The total consisted of 257 recorded by officers out on patrol and 300 caught on equipment used by the unit’s safety camera vans.
Chief Insp Milne said: “As we’re in the summer holidays, children will be out playing which makes it even more pertinent that people keep a close eye on their speed and stick to the limits.
“The faster you are travelling, the less time you have to react to the unexpected.
“Around two thirds of these collisions take place on roads with a speed limit of 30mph or less, which are often residential areas where children live.
“Those travelling above the speed limit will face the consequences.”
Speeding currently carries a minimum penalty of £100 fine and three penalty points added to your licence.
Drivers face disqualification should they build up 12 or more penalty points within a three-year period.
Durham Constabulary Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg, said: “This really demonstrates that Durham Constabulary is serious about apprehending speeding drivers who are putting our communities at risk.
“Improving road safety is one of the objectives in my Police, Crime and Victims’ Plan.
"By working together with local communities and partners on initiatives such as Community Speed-watch, we can make our roads a safer place.”
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, said: “It is vital that those motorists who flout the law are educated about the serious risks of speeding and the devastation that can be caused to families as a result.
“Speeding is one of the major causes of fatal or serious collisions on our roads and I support all campaigns, such as this one, which aims to save lives.”