Drivers shown shocking videos in police operation

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SHOCKING and graphic videos featuring fatal car crashes have been shown to motorists caught using their mobile phones or not wearing a seatbelt on two busy Burnley roads.

The aim of the joint police and fire service operation was to shock and educate motorists as to the risks of not concentrating when driving, and the potentially fatal consequences of not wearing seatbelts.

Operation Peardrop caught out 30 motorists and passengers in a five-hour sweep in Padiham Road and Colne Road.

Of those, seven drivers were using their mobile phones and 23 drivers and their passengers were not wearing seatbelts.

All were issued with £60 fixed penalty notices, which could be waived if they attended an educational video session at Burnley Fire Station the following day.

PC Nigel Keates said: “The short series of videos shows the consequences of what can happen if motorists use their mobile phones while driving, or if they or their passengers do not wear a seatbelt.

We issued 30 fixed penalty notices, but these were ripped up if those caught watched the videos and filled in a questionnaire afterwards.

“The demographic of people caught was very varied.

“We had young men, a pensioner and even a vicar who was not wearing a seatbelt.

“We even stopped one car carrying a two-year-old passenger without an adequate safety belt.”

PC Keates added that passengers over the age of 14 are responsible for wearing a seatbelt, but those caught not wearing a seatbelt under that age are the responsibility of the driver.

Watch manager Neil Ashworth, of Burnley Fire and Rescue, said: “We showed the motorists a series of video clips, some of which are so graphic they are not shown on English television. We deal with the aftermath of accidents and the idea was to shock and educate motorists about the risks.”

The operation to catch motorists will continue, but the video sessions were just for a trial period.