Posted on Tuesday 31 January 2023
Those who drive dangerously, run red lights, use their phones at the wheel and don’t wear their seatbelt will be among those targeted as Durham Constabulary adopts a new police operation.
Operation Snap aims to reduce the number of road deaths by allowing the public to submit dashcam footage of unacceptable driving.
Thanks to the increasing number of drivers installing dashcams, it is easier now more than ever for the public to report dangerous drivers to us.
The footage – which can be uploaded on a simple online form – will give the force vital evidence whilst also reducing demand on the control room as concerned members of the public would previously have to call in to report incidents.
Using existing systems, the footage will then be reviewed by officers in our Road and Armed Policing team and drivers who are found to have broken the law will be dealt with.
Similarly, it can also protect drivers themselves as their dashcam can be used as clear evidence if there is any dispute in a road traffic collision they may be involved in.
Currently around 1,600 people in England and Wales die each year as a result of irresponsible or dangerous driving and it is estimated that the operation, if adopted by every force, has the potential to reduce fatalities by 40 per cent, saving more than 650 every year.
Inspector Kevin Salter, from the Roads and Armed Policing Unit, said: “We know the public find it frustrating when they see people who refuse to obey the laws of the road, putting others at risk through their inconsiderate driving and refuse to change their ways.
“Operation Snap is therefore an effective way for law-abiding motorists to notify us of dangerous drivers so we can take them off the road before they cause a serious collision and we hope the public will help us make the roads safer for all.
“To considerate drivers, thank you. To selfish drivers who continue to ignore the law, let this be a warning to you – you will be held accountable.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen said: “Tackling road safety is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan, reflecting the concerns and feedback I receive from local people on an almost daily basis.
“My engagement work shows the vast majority of people (77 per cent) who live or work in the force area support more enforcement on our roads while road safety continues to be cited as one of the top five priorities among the public. This is why I committed to increasing investment in road safety resources through the money people pay towards policing in their council tax bill in last year’s budget.
“Operation Snap has proved to be an excellent enforcement tool in other areas of the country with evidence suggesting that as much as 70 per cent of the footage retrieved from the public can be acted upon, opening up significant opportunities for prosecution.
“Whilst not replacing our highly-skilled Roads Policing officers, Operation Snap does offer a further means of support for monitoring driver behaviour on our roads and importantly increases the protection of all road users from car drivers and motorcyclists through to horse riders and cyclists.
“What is clear is that the more dash cams fitted, the higher the detection rate of dangerous drivers and I would fully support drivers fitting their vehicles with dashcam technology to protect their own lives and the lives of others on our roads network. The higher the risks of being caught, the more drivers we will deter from dangerous manoeuvres.”
To upload footage, click here.