October 2021

Sussex Police is committed to reducing casualties on the roads and making them a safer place for all road users. You can find a snapshot of activity from across Sussex that our teams and volunteers have been doing in response to local issues.

Advice

Darker nights and adverse weather conditions can make roads significantly more hazardous; throughout October the Sussex Safer Road Partnership (SSRP) will be providing road safety tips and advice on how to check your tyres are fit for the road. Using the acronym ACT, make sure to check yours:

Air Pressure - To stay safe on the road your car needs to have the correct tyre pressure. If the tyres are under or over inflated then handling and grip will worsen, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable car behaviour.

Condition - Tyres are never manufactured with lumps, bumps or objects sticking in them, so if you see any of these, you’ll need to have the tyre inspected. Tyres should be examined frequently, removing stones or other embedded objects from the tread. If the tyre has lumps or bulges it must be examined by a tyre specialist since these could indicate internal damage. Remove oil or grease with a suitable diluted detergent.

Tread - Tyre treads are designed to give good grip on wet roads, but this generally decreases as a tyre’s tread pattern wears down or as the depth of water increases. Drivers should take this into consideration and reduce their speed accordingly in wet conditions

Localised activity

Roads Policing Officers were deployed to support the Labour Party conference in Brighton, ensuring the event ran safely and with minimal disruption to the community. The support provided by roads policing teams was complex and took months of planning; surrounding road closures were carefully managed and hostile vehicle mitigation barriers put in place making sure the gathering was safe and secure.

PCSOs have been out deploying the Speed Indicator Device at multiple locations including Hawkhurst Road, Bear Road, Davigdor Road, Hove and Bear Road and Mile Oak Road.

Officers joined Brighton and Hove Council Environment Enforcement to combat fly tipping around the city. Nine vehicles were checked, two of which produced incorrect waste licences, one was also arrested for failing to appear at court. One of the vehicles was also found to have no insurance and was seized.

A Safe Pass Cyclist operation was run in and around New Church Road, A259, Kingsway, Sackville Road. Two close passes were identified, multiple e-scooters were stopped, and drivers were stopped for not wearing a seatbelt. One motorcycle was dealt with for an excessively noisy exhaust and an illegal number plate. Officers set up an education stand and both cyclists and pedestrians attended.

A Safe Pass horse operation was run at Plumpton College in Ditchling. Roads Policing Officers worked alongside SSRP, the British Horse Society, the Rural Crime Team, neighbourhood officers and the DVSA, and were joined by Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne. In the last year there have been 17 reports of close passes or driving too fast past horses, via Operation Crackdown reports, in and around the Plumpton area. During the enforcement activity, several vehicles were stopped for passing too close or too fast. The British Horse Society supplied educational videos which showed the perspective of the horse rider and the risks involved.

Officers have been out offering free forensic smart water, marking several cars to protect their catalytic converters. More information and prevention advice can be found here

Roads Policing Officers conducted speed checks on the A272, Scaynes Hill; one driver failed to see the police officer at the side of the road and sped up in the 30mph zone and was stopped and dealt with for excess speed.

Following complaints from members of the public, officers have been actively targeting anti-social riding in and around Selsey. On the A286, Westdean, drivers were stopped for speeding as well as a vehicle overtaking on solid white lines.

A driver overtook an unmarked police car at speed on the A27, Chichester, and was followed and stopped; their average speed was recorded at 103mph. The driver will be summonsed to court.

The eastbound carriageway of the A27, Tangmere, just east of Tangmere roundabout had to be closed due an agricultural vehicle being on fire, West Sussex Fire and Rescue were quickly on scene to exstinguish the flames, allowing lanes to be reopened.

Speed enforcement was conducted in Fontwell Avenue, Eastergate, four drivers were stopped and dealt with for driving in excess of the 30mph limit.

A driver who was under investigation for driving whilst over the prescribed drug drive limit was seen again by the arresting officer who stopped the vehicle and the driver was drugs wiped which indicated they were still over the drug drive limit. They were arrested again and taken to custody.

Road works on the A259, Rustington is resulting in some drivers using Downsway as a cut through, speed checks were conducted, and several drivers were stopped and dealt with.

Acting on information received from Op Crackdown, officers stopped a car in Horsham as information stated the driver had no licence. The van was stopped, the driver had no licence and no insurance, and the van was seized.

A multi-agency check was conducted at a school in Steyning.  Roads policing officers, the Commercial Vehicle Unit, Casualty Reduction Team (SSRP) and the Driving Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) carried out a check of school coaches and buses being used to transport school children. The aim was to check the road worthiness of these vehicles and make sure they were fit for the road. Many children were spoken to and road safety advice given about walking and cycling to school.

There was another multi-agency road safety operation on the A23, Handcross Weighbridge, with roads policing officers, DVSA and SSRP. Multiple vehicles were stopped; with one scaffolding van found to be overweight, a lorry was stopped as the load it was carrying was insecure and one tipper van carrying soil, and also towing a trailer, was found to be 2,000 kg overweight.

The Safety Camera team continue to monitor roads across the county where there have been collisions or identified speed related road safety issues. The Safety Camera team have travelled across the county to Shipley, Bury Hill, Coldwaltham, Fittleworth, Crowborough, Hangleton, Hove and Newhaven. To find out more about the work of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership Safety Camera Team, visit their website.

Sussex Safer Roads Partnership Casualty Reduction team

Throughout September, Casualty Reduction Officers have investigated and responded to Operation Crackdown reports made by members of the public. The work undertaken by the Casualty Reduction Team has reduced the waiting time from the report being made by a member of the public, to being viewed by the team, to 72 hours or less.

Casualty Reduction Officers reviewed and processed reports relating to drink and drug driving, careless and inconsiderate driving and driving while unlicensed or uninsured.

These included:

  • A driver who had been reported numerous times for using a mobile phone whilst driving was intercepted and issued a Traffic Offence Report.
  • The team attended the address of an elderly driver who had been involved in a collision in a supermarket carpark. An eyesight test was conducted, and officers worked with the DVLA to provide further support to the driver.
  • A report made via Operation Crackdown alerted the team to a male driving his van without a driving licence. Investigations showed the vehicle had been the subject of several Community Speed Watch advisory letters. Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) was used to locate the driver. A successful stop resulted in the vehicle being seized and reported for driving without a licence or insurance.

Community Speed Watch

Community Speed Watch volunteers continue to deploy across the county, helping communities feel safer and combating concerns of speeding across Sussex. Throughout September, Community Speed Watch volunteers have contributed to over 500 roadside sessions.

As CSW continues to grow across Sussex, SSRP are on the lookout for a Volunteer Administration Assistant, based in Shoreham Police Station. If you have some time to volunteer for Community Speed Watch Sussex, and you are interested in contributing to road safety, please apply via the Sussex Police website.

Engage with us

Operation Crackdown is a joint initiative run by Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and Sussex Police, which provides communities of Sussex an opportunity to report specific instances of anti-social driving, as well as abandoned vehicles on the road. In instances where there is sufficient evidence, road users are contacted and educated by Sussex Police to highlight the impact of ant-social behaviour on the roads on the wider community. All reports provide a vital oversight of when and where anti-social driving incidents are taking place, assisting in the long term operational strategy of colleagues within SSRP and Sussex Police.

Community Speedwatch (CSW) is a county wide initiative involving community members working collaboratively with Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and Sussex Police to monitor speeds of vehicles using speed detection devices. Vehicles exceeding speed limits are referred to Sussex Safer Roads Partnership with the aim of educating drivers to educate their speeds.

To find out more about Community Speedwatch, or if you are interested in joining a local group, please contact SSRP here

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If you have any questions about road safety in Sussex, contact the SSRP team.

If you suspect someone is drink or drug driving and there is an immediate risk dial 999 or text 65999 to report it.