Belfast Telegraph

'No tolerance' crackdown on drivers

Police in Northern Ireland have announced a zero-tolerance crackdown on a range of motoring offences in response to a rise in road deaths in the region.

Officers have been instructed not to exercise the discretion they might previously have shown when it comes to speeding, using mobile phones while driving and not wearing seatbelts.

The move comes after 54 people have lost their lives on Northern Ireland's roads since the start of the year.

At the same point in 2012, 26 people had been killed. In 2013, 40 people died in the first eight months of the year.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said the crackdown would start tomorrow.

"Because of our concern with the road deaths this year we have decided that from tomorrow we are going to take a firmer approach in relation to some offences on Northern Ireland's roads," he said at the monthly meeting in Belfast of the PSNI's oversight body - the NI Policing Board.

"From tomorrow Friday 5th September if you are caught speeding, if you are caught using a phone whilst driving, or if you are caught not wearing your seat belt, you can expect to get a ticket and that ticket will mean a £60 fine and three penalty points.

"We don't want to give you a ticket, we want to find you driving responsibly within the limitations of the road and within the posted speed limits - that's what we want to find.

"But if we find that you are in breach of one of those three offences we will give you a ticket and we make no apology for that because we would much rather give you a ticket than be knocking your family's door to tell them you have lost your life on the road."

He said officers were being told to hit all offenders with tickets.

"We are not going to exercise discretion in relation to those (offences)," he said.

The officer added: "Northern Ireland is a small place, we should not have 54 road deaths."

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