16 motorists caught breaking the law at the wheel in Melton in just three hours

Pc Trevor Spare takes the details of one of the drivers pulled over as part of the latest Fatal 4 operation in Melton EMN-170611-091402001

Motorists face paying hundreds of pounds in fines after being caught by police using a mobile phone at the wheel or failing to wear a seatbelt in a special operation carried out in Melton.

Officers detected 16 motoring offences in their FATAL4 iniative in Burton Road on Thursday in just a three-hour period in a clampdown on offending drivers in the town.

Senior traffic management Officer Graham Compton organises the towing away of an uninsured vehicle with Pc Trevor Spare EMN-170611-091414001

The Leicestershire Police team caught 12 drivers and passengers not wearing a seatbelt, three motorists on a mobile phone and one who did not have insurance.

The penalty for using a mobile while driving doubled in March this year, with drivers now receiving six points on their driving licence and a £200 fine. These changes have a significant impact on newer drivers as they risk having their licence revoked following a first offence.

Motorists are also no longer offered the opportunity to go on a driver awareness course if they are caught using a phone while driving.

The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is £100, although this offence carries no penalty points.

Jonathan Clarkson, spokesperson for the Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Road Safety Partnership, said: “The FATAL4 offences recorded in the town on Thursday morning show that, disappointingly, there is still a stubborn minority of motorists who still choose to ignore our road safety messages and continue to put their own lives and, particularly by driving while distracted, the lives of others at risk.”

The operation was carried out between 9.30am and 12.30pm and targets the FATAL4 offences of speeding, using a mobile, not wearing a seatbelt and drink or drug driving.

This was the fourth FATAL4 operation held on Burton Road since February last year - over 50 seatbelt offences were detected along with nine drivers using their mobile phones in the previous three.

Between January 2014 and December 2016, Leicestershire Police recorded 126,030 speeding drivers across the county, 2,952 not wearing a seatbelt, 2,399 using a mobile phone at the wheel and 2,680 people were arrested for driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

Mr Clarkson added: “Worryingly, in that same period, 300 road users, aged between 16 and 24, have been killed or seriously injured across the Leicestershire Police force area.

“We also saw over 1,890 collisions involving this age group and, all too often, FATAL4 offences are a contributory factor.”

Further FATAL4 operations are planned by the force in Melton and other areas of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in the coming months.

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