Nearly 900 drivers have been spoken to during the first year of an operation aiming to reduce incidents on one of the county’s most dangerous roads.
Operation Indemnis was launched on the A417 and A419 – one of the major routes in the county – on November 1 last year and has already had a significant impact.
The team is built up of a number of special constables (SC’s) who volunteer their time to patrol the road which links Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.
Statistics show that this road has the highest collision rate in the county and the team are working to tackle the “Fatal Four” causes of road deaths and injury – inappropriate speed, using a mobile phone, not wearing a seat belt and drink driving.
Operation Indemnis is defined as “a proactive policing project to deny criminals the use of the road and to reduce road deaths and serious injury.”
Statistics show that the number of people killed or seriously injured as a result of collisions on the A417/19 has reduced from 25 to 18 in the past year.
Meanwhile, the team has contributed just over 3454 hours, which equates to nearly two full time officers patrolling this stretch of road in a 12 month period.
Operational activity has seen the team provide education, warnings or advice to 670 motorists, provide assistance to 132 drivers whose vehicles had broken down, seize 72 vehicles for having no tax or insurance and provide assistance during 58 collisions.
As well as this the team has been involved in reporting traffic offences, drugs/alcohol testing, lane closures and community liaison visits.
The SC’s have taken this role on whilst incorporating the force’s intelligence networks and utilising ANPR capabilities to target travelling criminals and uninsured vehicles and support road safety campaigns.
Steve Lindsay, lead for the Operation Indemnis team said: “Operation Indemnis has been a great success, it was not easy getting this project off the ground but the results speak for themselves.
“The feedback from local residents and businesses has been positive and a number of people have written to us to thank the team for supporting them at breakdowns and collisions.
“This is great partnership working between the police, police and crime commissioner, Highways England and the local community.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl added: “Operation Indemnis was prompted by the many local people who came to me with concerns about a number of issues along this road of which speeding was one.
“The overall aim has been to deny criminals the use of the road and to reduce road deaths and serious injury.
“But I am also pleased to see that police have been there to help drivers in trouble.
“My priority for ‘Safe and social driving’ has always been about creating a change of culture on our roads.
“Making them safer, naturally, but also affecting the way drivers relate to the law and each other.”