Police warning to drivers who obstruct speed cameras as the law changes
Motorists who obstruct speed cameras face a police crackdown.
The Cleveland and Durham forces have teamed up to teamed up with the introduction of new legislation which will extend the offence of ‘obstructing a police constable’ to apply to civilian speed camera operators as part of the Police Reform Act.
The two forces caught 31,520 drivers speeding last year.
There have been a number of incidents in which speed camera vans and their operators have been targeted, including one in which a camera operator was being obstructed by a member of the public who was also trying to gain access to the van.
The suspect was later charged with a Public Order offence.
Another incident in the Stockton area saw an operator being obstructed, but the suspect had left the scene before police arrived. This occurred in the same location that windows on a camera van were damaged by bricks a few weeks earlier.
As part of the upcoming campaign, roads with 20mph speed limits will also see enforcement action.
Inspector Jon Curtis, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: "Each speeding driver puts at least one life at risk each time they speed; their own, anyone else in their vehicle and any other motorists or pedestrians using the road.
"It is unacceptable that people continue to speed, despite knowing the risks. The figures show that more than 2,500 people were found speeding on our roads every month last year and this demonstrates that our continued action is essential for helping to keep people as safe as we possibly can.
"Our priority is to target areas known to have a history of speed-related road traffic collisions, as well as areas impacting on the quality of life of the public of County Durham, Darlington and Cleveland concerning the excessive number of speeding vehicles in their communities.
"No one should obstruct a camera operator from doing their job, it is illegal. Speeding contributes towards one quarter of all serious and fatal collisions. The introduction of the new legislation will help assist our civilian camera operators by protecting them from the very small number of people who, through their actions, seek to prevent the police from fulfilling the desire of the wider community to have safer roads."