Motorists in Herts are warned: ‘Slow down and wise up’

A new police operation aimed at tackling dangerous drivers has already caught out speeding motorists in and around Hemel Hempstead.

The Herts-based Operation Slowdown campaign runs daily throughout October and November, and intends to remind motorists about the laws on speeding as well as crack down on offenders.

Operation Slowdown in action on Hemel Hempstead's Leighton Buzzard Road.

Operation Slowdown in action on Hemel Hempstead's Leighton Buzzard Road.

Sgt Chris Kent, who helps carry out checks, said: “It is not all about catching drivers out, it’s a chance to educate motorists that they are clearly breaking the law. We are putting out the message that speeding is not accepted.”

Among the 10 publicised locations of the drills across the county is the A4146 Leighton Buzzard Road.

Officers from the county’s road policing unit will man a stretch of the road using hand-held laser devices, capable of reading the speeds of cars up to 750 metres away.

During Friday’s checks in Hemel Hempstead, Broxbourne and the M1, there were 14 traffic offence reports and eight verbal warnings issued.

On the Leighton Buzzard Road alone, the road police team stopped three drivers for speeding and also flagged down four cars for various traffic offences.

Sgt Kent added: “If they think they have spotted us from afar and slowed down in time, it’s not always the case.

“If you do speed, you will get caught and we strongly advise against it.”

According to officers, speeding is one of the four main causes of road deaths, along with drink-driving, not wearing seatbelts and using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Vans advertising the campaign can be seen around the county for the duration of the crackdown. Road officers will also advertise their whereabouts through the Twitter account @roadpoliceBCH.

Motorists caught speeding for the first time can go on a speed awareness course, while repeat offenders face points on their licence and a fine of up to £2,500 following court proceedings.