A CLAMPDOWN by police over the Easter weekend led to arrests, vehicles seized and unsafe drivers taken off the roads.

North Yorkshire Police say there was an enhanced police presence on routes across the county, including villages, suburbs and rural and main roads.

The easing of some lockdown restrictions, fair weather and the long weekend led to lots of traffic – especially leisure motorists in scenic areas – and increased risk of collisions.

The force say that their units were deployed to key areas during a special Roads Policing Group operation, codenamed Op Boundary, to reduce collisions, target road-related offences and tackle other crime. 

Officers dealt with unlicensed and uninsured drivers, unroadworthy vehicles, drink and drug driving, speeding, dangerous driving and intercepted criminals who use the road network. They also responded to several serious collisions that left motorists in hospital with serious injuries.

From bank holiday Friday to Monday, officers dealt with hundreds of incidents on the county’s roads, including:

  • A motorbike seized after the rider exceeded 100mph and failed to stop for police on the B6255 towards Hawes. He was reported for summons and will appear in court soon.
  • An unlicensed and uninsured motorcyclist was also dealt with after he failed to stop for police in York.
  • Eight vehicles seized for having no driving licence or insurance – six motorbikes and two cars.
  • Eighty traffic offence reports issued during the long weekend, for a range of offences including using mobile phones while driving, double white line offences, highly-excessive speeds, unroadworthy or illegally-modified vehicles, ignoring red lights and other offences. The majority were in the Craven area.
  • A driver in York arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent and drink driving.
  • Several other drink and drug driving arrests, including a woman near Harrogate and a man in Ripon who both blew almost three times the drink drive limit.
  • Four men tracked down by Op Boundary officers after a quad bike was stolen from Craven. Police found the vehicle in a compound in the Bradford area. All four men arrested and the vehicle was recovered by police.
  • A number of serious collisions, including a motorcyclist who crashed in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, suffering serious but not life-threatening injuries and a motorcyclist who crashed in York, suffering suspected fractures.
  • A crash involving two motorbikes and a car in Bainbridge near Hawes left one rider in hospital with serious injuries.
  • And a motorbike pillion passenger suffered very serious injuries and had to be airlifted to hospital after coming off a bike in Pateley Bridge.

Motorists clocked by safety camera vehicles and police officers doing extreme speeds including more than twice the speed limit – one driver was recorded at 102mph in a 50mph zone in Richmondshire.

Joint work with neighbouring police forces led to a driver who was wanted in connection with burglaries in Luton being detained near Catterick. He was handed over to Cleveland Police. And three suspects were detained just over the border after a car failed to stop. It was wanted in connection with a West Yorkshire Police burglary investigation.

Officers assisting with other incidents while on roads policing patrols, including finding a missing person in the Hambleton area and burglary prevention patrols.

Traffic Sergeant Pete Stringer, who led Op Boundary, said: “We’ve had a very busy but extremely productive weekend, the results of which speak for themselves.

“We’ve dealt with some serious road offences over the last few days and Op Boundary allowed us to focus on reducing collisions in key areas and keeping the roads as safe as possible.

“But it also meant our units were strategically deployed so they could tackle other offences, such as theft and burglary, which involve the use of our road network.

North Yorkshire Police listened to concerns from residents about road use in their communities and has been working with residents to target a range of offences, from speeding and excessive exhaust noise to dangerous driving and drink and drug driving.

Sgt Stringer added: “We’re grateful for the strong support we’ve received from the public this weekend, whether it’s when we’ve been policing the roads in their communities, when talking to motorists at our pop-up BikeSafe base in the Dales and in comments on our social media.

“Everyone has a right to use North Yorkshire’s roads without being put at risk by an irresponsible minority. North Yorkshire’s roads aren’t racetracks and anyone who uses them illegally will be dealt with as robustly as possible.

“This is just the start of this intensive and hard-hitting campaign and we’ll continue this approach throughout the summer.”