Police “blitz” Richmondshire’s roads to tackle post-lockdown traffic offences

Police speak to a tractor driver for talking on his mobile while driving.

Police carried out an operation on Richmondshire’s roads today as part of a crackdown on post-lockdown traffic offences.

A dozen officers from North Yorkshire Police’s road policing team and ANPR camera unit spent the day in the district.

The crackdown has been called Operation Boundary because police say the aim is to remind motorists of the boundaries of using the county’s roads.

Traffic Sergeant Pete Stringer was accompanied by Traffic Constable Tim Healey in an unmarked high-performance car in Wensleydale .

TS Stringer said the easing of lockdown restrictions and the good weather has helped to create a “perfect storm” on the county’s roads.

“Fairer weather and the easing of some lockdown rules all mean much more traffic on our roads, especially leisure traffic

“Unfortunately, we know this is the perfect storm for more casualties and fatalities.

“Many bikers and drivers haven’t used their vehicles much during the past year so skills may be rusty, which further increases the risk That’s why we’re launching a significant roads policing operation to reduce the risk of fatal collisions

“We know many residents who live near busy roads are backing us one hundred per cent in our efforts to keep their communities safe and crack down on anti social and illegal road use.

“Our message to motorists is simple we’re not here to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of North Yorkshire and its fantastic roads.”

He added: “We are blitzing a different area each day and will be back in Richmondshire at the weekend.”

Officers stopped a number of motorists in the district during the day, including a tractor driver who was spotted talking on his mobile phone while driving in Wensleydale.

Speed checks were also carried out at various locations.

TC Stringer said part of the operation’s aim was to target the “small minority” of motorcyclist who flouted the law by speeding and using illegal exhausts that broke permitted noise levels.

“It is just a small minority who think they can come and use rural roads as their own personal racetrack.”

The officer, who has been on the force for 24 years, said he had attended numerous fatal accidents.

He added that although not all bikers appreciated their efforts, he would rather stop a motorcyclist for speeding than attend a serious accident after a rider had gone through a dry-stone wall.

TS Stringer said officers seized a motorbike over the Bank Holiday weekend after its rider travelled at more than 100mph — and then failed to stop for police.

Officers had attempted to stop the rider near Ribblehead.

He failed to stop but officers were waiting for him in Hawes.