Warwickshire Police officers put their skills to good use during Traffic Patrol Officers course

Builders type truck with digger on

Warwickshire Police Roads Policing Officers (RPO) and Special Constables put their skills to good use during two Traffic Patrol Officers Courses held in January and February 2022. The courses, which are part of RPO’s ongoing training and development, will continue throughout February and March with the skills gained being used to make Warwickshire’s roads safer for all.

 

As well as refreshing and increasing their skills around Road Traffic legislation, fatal four offences and the Trucam II speed detection devices, each officer took part in two practical training days to consolidate their skills in weighing vehicles and construction and use offences.

 

Officers are also trained in how to weigh and prohibit overweight vehicles, and enforcement operations to consolidate these skills were undertaken across the county.

 

During the first course (17-27 January), 20 vehicles were weighed during an enforcement operation on 20 January. One vehicle was found to be overweight, and the driver prosecuted.  Officers also issued the driver of a skip lorry with an immediate prohibition for having no operator’s licence, no MOT and a bald tyre.

 

During the second course ( 31 Jan-10 Feb) during an enforcement operation on 3 Feb four drivers were prosecuted for their vehicles being overweight.   The vehicles were prohibited from moving until their weight was reduced, however one driver decided to drive after he had been prohibited and was found again, so was prosecuted twice.

 

Both courses also included a motorway practical.  During the first at Corley Services on M6 on 27 January, 13 Traffic Offence Reports were issued for a range of offences, including

  • 4 vehicles with excessive tints
  • 6 drivers were prosecuted for their vehicle being overweight. One vehicle was 42% overweight which affects braking distances and handling putting not only the driver but other road users at risk.  All 6 vehicles were prohibited from moving until their weight was reduced to the legal limit. 
  • Two vehicles were seized for no insurance and no driving licence.
  • 3 DVSA prohibitions were also made.

During the second course at Barn Hill, M40 South on 10 Feb officers stopped a total of 22 vehicles.

  • Of these a total of 7 vehicles were prohibited for being overweight.  The highest being a 3.5t Transit van weighing in at 5.6t whilst carrying food products.
  • Three vehicles were tested for tinted windows. 2 of them were letting in just 30% of light through the side windows when the legal minimum is 70%.  A Range Rover was also examined with a dangerously low level of just 7% of light coming through the side windows and just 44% through the front windscreen where the legal minimum is 75%. All of these drivers and vehicles were prohibited until the tints were removed.
  • A final vehicle was prohibited by our partner agency DVSA due to 2 of its tyres being below the legal limit.

 

The courses, that are being rolled out between January and March, also include sessions designed to improve RPO’s knowledge around vulnerable road users such as cyclists and horse riders and the options available, such as ‘Close Pass’ operations to help improve their safety.

 

Inspector Jem Mountford said “We are very grateful to Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership for a £5500 grant to provide suitable training facilities for the course.

 

“We are also grateful to Jaguar LandRover who allowed Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance and National Highways to use their test track free of charge for these specific emergency services training days.

 

“This course will ensure that all Roads Policing Officers and Specials have the skills and abilities to support the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership target of reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on Warwickshire’s roads by 50% by 2030.”