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POLICE PROSECUTION BOOSTS AUTHORITY OF TRAFFIC OFFICERS

Driver fined for ignoring the directions of a Highways Agency traffic officer

A 28 year old man from York has been fined for ignoring the instructions of a Highways Agency Traffic Officer. The man driving a light goods vehicle (LGV) was prosecuted for driving without due care and attention. 

The incident happened on Friday 13 August 2010. A Highways Agency crew were on patrol on the M62 at Junction 26 when LGV driver attempted to break a ‘rolling road block’ used to enable debris to be recovered from the carriageway.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 gives Highways Agency Traffic Officers the powers to direct and divert traffic; stop traffic and close roads, lanes and carriageways; place and operate traffic signs; manage traffic and traffic surveys.

Traffic Officers have no active role in law enforcement but will give evidence to the Police to prosecute drivers who cause danger by failing to comply with their directions.

Failure to comply with the directions or sign of a Traffic Officer attracts a maximum £1,000 penalty, driving licence endorsement and possible disqualification. The man pleaded guilty at Bradford Magistrates Court to driving a mechanically propelled vehicle without due care and attention. He received fines totalling £90, a four point endorsement to his licence and £85 costs.

Vital that motorists comply with directions

Richard Marshall, Regional Operations Manager for the North East of England said:

“Traffic Officers do a difficult job in often dangerous circumstances. It is vital that motorists comply with their directions to ensure the safety of road users and the safety of highways staff, the emergency services and others when incidents happen on the roads. This prosecution sends a clear message to anyone else who is tempted to ignore instructions from a Traffic Officer.”

Chief Inspector Neil Hunter of the Roads Policing Unit from West Yorkshire Police said:

“This driver not only put his own safety at risk but that of other motorists. This case sends a message that West Yorkshire Police will prosecute drivers who ignore instructions – the failure by any driver to comply with directions given by Highways Agency traffic officers or police officers is a serious matter. 

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