London’s new scheme caught more than 4,700 driving offences in two weeks
Laws are only as strong as their enforcement, therefore TfL and the MPS have launched a new project to help monitor and reduce deaths and injuries on London’s roads.
Transport for London (TfL) and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) are cracking down on illegal, dangerous and careless behaviour that creates risk on our roads, as part of their joint Vision Zero commitment to eliminate death and serious injury on London’s roads by 2041.
During an enhanced two week programme of enforcement, named Operation Vision Zero, 4,758 offences have been dealt with by on-street officers alone – more than 800 offences higher than an average two week period in 2016.
The MPS’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC), part funded by TfL, has ramped up activity to deter and deal with risky behaviour on London’s roads. The RTPC mobilised officers from across the 2,000 officer strong command.
Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance and Policing at TfL, said: “No death or serious injury is acceptable or inevitable and we will continue to crack down on anyone who is behaving dangerously, carelessly or illegally. Excess speed, mobile phone use and other risky road user behaviour are undisputed contributors to road traffic collisions in London. The consequences are devastating for victims and their families. Our message is clear, we won’t tolerate illegal and dangerous behaviour and through our work with the police we will take robust action against those that do.”
Officers arrested 176 drivers for offences including drink, drug, dangerous and disqualified driving. There were 507 drivers stopped for mobile phone use, 654 for speeding, 559 caught driving without insurance and 1,394 for mechanical defects. Officers also dealt with 519 cycling offences such as red-light jumping.
Chief Supt Colin Wingrove, from the MPS, said: “The Metropolitan Police, in partnership with TfL, is committed to Vision Zero and is taking positive action with those who use London’s roads dangerously, carelessly or illegally, to make the roads safer for all road users, reduce road danger and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured.
“Driving a vehicle illegally, dangerously or carelessly is an offence under the Road Traffic Act. Not only are you breaking the law but you are posing an unacceptable risk to yourself and others. The results of this latest two-week enhanced enforcement ‘Operation Vision Zero’ shows that we are prepared to crack down and catch those who break the law of the road.”
This joint work between TfL and the police is to deliver and sustain improvement in speed enforcement, focusing on the most dangerous drivers and offences that put road users at risk.
Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake, a road safety charity, said: “Laws are only as strong as their enforcement and so it’s great to see TfL and the MPS crack down on unsafe driving on the roads. Speeding, drink-driving and using a phone behind the wheel are all actions which selfishly put others in danger and must never be tolerated. Strict enforcement is crucial for an effective deterrent, so drivers in London will know if they break the law, they will be caught and punished. With more than 10 deaths and serious injuries every day in the capital in 2017, London’s Vision Zero approach to road safety couldn’t be more timely.”
The MPS’s Roads and Transport Policing Command is part-funded by TfL and is currently the largest policing command in Europe. As part of the Vision Zero commitment, they are implementing a new, three-tier approach to roads policing and enforcement:
Tier 1 – Highly-targeted activity, focused on high-risk offenders: The Roads and Transport Policing Command will seek to better identify high-risk drivers and riders, remove the most dangerous offenders from the roads and end the cycle of re-offending.
Tier 2 – Intelligence-led activity focused on known problems: TfL and the police will focus on the sources of danger, to deploy officers at places and times where high-risk traffic offences, such as speeding, are more likely to happen.
Tier 3 – Highly visible patrols: Increasing the number of highly visible deployments across London to increase the unpredictability of police enforcement, amplifying the deterrent effect.