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Cameras Target Class Restricted Vehicles

On Friday 7th February 2014, speed enforcement operations, aimed specifically at class restricted vehicles, were carried out on the main national speed limit roads across Devon and Cornwall.  A vehicle’s class determines the speed at which it can be driven on roads subject to the national speed limit.

Latest data, released by the Department for Transport showed that, despite being class restricted, light goods vehicles (LGVs) had the highest average speed of all vehicles on motorways and dual carriageways in free flowing conditions.  These vehicles, such as the Ford Transit or the Mercedes Sprinter, are restricted to a legal maximum of 50mph on a single carriageway and 60mph on a dual carriageway.  However, despite the terrible weather conditions that day, light goods vehicles were responsible for 55% of captured offences, with several recorded driving at over 90mph.

One Officer involved in the Operation was quoted as saying ‘The weather conditions have been atrocious yet, in addition to all the LGVs captured, we have caught one car doing over 100mph and one motorbike in the high 90s.  This is sheer madness’.  These cases will be dealt with in Court and the drivers could face disqualification. 

In addition, organisations with more than one company vehicle detected may be subject to follow up investigation to see whether the violations detected indicate an organisational culture of non compliance with road traffic legislation.

Intelligence gathered from these operations will be used to deliver further similar exercises and will include specific tactics to tackle persistent and extreme violators.

In rural counties such as Devon and Cornwall, the major roads are a lifeline to businesses; no more so than now due to the storm destruction of the railway line connecting Devon and Cornwall to the rest of the UK.  It is vital to ensure that the road network is kept free flowing.  Past incidents have shown that, for every hour a major road is closed, the cost to local businesses can run into thousands of pounds.
As a local example, the A390 road was closed after a van demolished the bridge at Gunnislake and plunged into the River Tamar.  Nearly two weeks later the bridge is still closed and motorists are having to travel on extensive detours.  This, in turn, has meant a loss of income for local businesses to the extent that the local garage owner has posted the following on Facebook - 

‘Gunnislake village has become very quiet with only local traffic and people being present.
This in turn has greatly diminished our workload and is already having an impact on our, and other village businesses.  I would be very grateful if you would all share and spread the word that we and other Gunnislake businesses are still open.’
The full quote can be found on Gunnislake Garage

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