Van drivers sign up for a safe driving pledge

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Over sixty drivers of goods vehicles signed up to a safe driving pledge during a police operation held last week reminding drivers to drive carefully and courteously.

The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit stopped over eighty vehicles during the operation at the A6 near Maulden Wood. Police checked each vehicle to ensure it was roadworthy and reminded drivers on their responsibilities as an owner and driver of a goods vehicle.

Representatives from Central Bedfordshire Council and highways contractor Amey provided advice on safe driving techniques as well as asking drivers to sign up to the ‘Drive Safely’ pledge.

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The five-point pledge asks drivers to commit to the following: -

Speed – I pledge to drive at an appropriate speed for the road and traffic conditions and not exceed speed limits for the road or my vehicle. I will avoid unnecessary or dangerous overtakes as it’s better to hang back and be safe

Seatbelts – I pledge to belt up and take responsibility for the safe restraint of others in my vehicle, including head restraints and child restraints

Distractions – I pledge to concentrate on driving, not on passengers, radio, mobile phones, or other distractions. I will put my phone on silent and put it out of reach when driving. I will not adjust a sat nav or other electronic equipment whilst moving

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Vehicle checks – I pledge to drive a vehicle I know to be safely maintained. I will do a ‘walk round’ safety check of my vehicle before driving it – including the POWER (Petrol Oil Water Electrics Rubbers) check

Courteous driving – I pledge to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. When I enter a roadway or change lanes, I will allow other drivers to maintain speed. I pledge to signal in plenty of time before making a manoeuvre requiring me to indicate my intention and to use my horn only as a warning to indicate to others of my presence.

Each driver signed a cardboard cut-out goods vehicle, as well as taking away vehicle stickers as a permanent reminder of the key points of the pledge.

Chief Inspector Richard Hann, from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit, said: “Operations such as these give the Police vital opportunities to speak to motorists across Central Bedfordshire, reminding them not only of their responsibilities as a driver but also guidance on how to maintain their vehicles correctly. We’re delighted that many of the goods vehicle drivers we saw signed up to the ‘Drive Safely’ pledge, recognising the importance of driving safely at all times.”

Of the remaining vehicles stopped, the main issues were defective lighting and tyres; drivers undertook the repairs for these.