Easter Bank Holiday is the 'perfect storm' for serious crashes as police launch urgent major roads operation

The Easter Bank Holiday weekend is the 'perfect storm' for serious collisions, police have warned as an urgent major roads operation is launched.

Additional roads policing officers will be on duty across North Yorkshire during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

North Yorkshire Police say a huge surge in traffic due to the warmer weather and the long weekend, coupled with the easing of some of the Covid-19 restrictions and motorists' skills going 'rusty' during lockdown, could see a rise in serious collisions.

The operation will use marked police cars and motorbikes and highly-visible safety camera vehicles will cover as many locations as possible.

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Unmarked police vehicles will also be used.

It comes amid concerns from residents in many North Yorkshire villages about speeding drivers and motorcyclists making their communities unsafe.

Police will be actively enforcing all motoring offences, including:

Speeding, especially in villages and on A-roads that are typically affected by a large volume of speeding vehicles;

Drink and drug driving;

Dangerous driving or riding, such as overtaking on double white lines;

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Document offences, such as not having insurance, tax or the correct driving licence;

Perverting the course of justice offences, when motorists obscure or re-angle their rear number plate to try to avoid detection. This can carry a prison sentence.

Police will use a range of powers to enforce the law, including traffic offence reports, vehicle seizures and vehicle prohibition notices, which mean a defective or illegally-modified vehicle cannot be used until it is approved by a qualified mechanic.

Traffic Sergeant Pete Stringer, who is leading the operation and will be patrolling Craven with his team, said: “Fairer weather, the bank holiday weekend and the easing of some lockdown rules all mean much more traffic on our roads, especially leisure traffic.

“Unfortunately, we know this is the ‘perfect storm’ for more casualties and fatalities. Many bikers and drivers haven’t used their vehicles much during the past year so skills may be rusty, which further increases the risk.

“That’s why we’re launching a significant roads policing operation to reduce the risk of fatal collisions.

“Our message to motorists is simple – we’re not here to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of North Yorkshire and its fantastic roads. But we are here to keep people alive and enforce the law, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing this bank holiday weekend and throughout the summer.”