POLICE in Weston detected 233 motorists speeding in a single day last month as part of an ongoing campaign on road safety.

Coordinated by the Road Policing Tactical Support Team, Operation Toro took place on Wednesday, March 20.

Its purpose was to raise awareness of the factors that contribute most greatly to serious and fatal road traffic collisions, commonly known as the ‘Fatal Five’ – speed, seatbelts, careless driving, use of mobile phones and drink/drug driving.

Results of the day included:

  • 233 speed detections, with a top speed recorded of 96mph on the M5;
  •  5 uninsured vehicles seized;
  •  1 fixed penalty notice issued for use of a mobile phone at the wheel;
  •  7 drivers identified and reported for not wearing a seatbelt;
  •  1 driver arrested for drug driving following a roadside drug swab;
  •  1 illegal motorbike seized;
  •  13 illegal vehicle number plates reported.

Chief inspector Robert Cheeseman, Roads Policing lead at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Committing any of the Fatal Five offences dramatically increases the likelihood of being involved in a fatal or serious injury collision.

“It is essential that we hammer the message home, through a consistent policy of education and enforcement, that dangerous and careless driving can and does result in tragedy."

On display in the town centre was a badly damaged car that was involved in a fatal collision in Bridgwater in November 2022. 

Luke Hawkes, 28, was jailed for dangerous driving after he ran a red light in his Ford Transit van and hit a Citroen DS3 in which Bethany Branson, 19, was a passenger.

Bethany tragically died at the scene.

The car was donated with the permission of Bethany's family to serve as a reminder of the consequences of dangerous driving.

Speaking on the day, road safety officer PC Daniel Cox said: “We saw a range of reactions from the members of the public we spoke to today.

"Many expressed sadness and disbelief at the sight of the crumpled car; and anger that despite the well-known risks, drivers continue to make reckless choices that endanger lives.

“I feel that they went away armed with a greater understanding of how we can all play our part in keeping the roads safe.”

North Somerset Inspector Lee Kerslake added: “On behalf of the North Somerset policing team I’d like to express my thanks to all officers involved in this operation.

"Their presence on the roads and in the town centre created a noticeable impact and the fantastic results from the day are helping to make our roads safer for all.”