Wakefield district council has launched a crackdown on motorists who drive along pavements to overtake bin lorries by joining a national campaign to identify and prosecute drivers.
The council has joined the DRoPs (Driving Recklessly on Pavements) campaign and has warned drivers that they could face prison for endangering lives if they drive dangerously around collection crews.
The DRoPS campaign has been run by Biffa – Wakefield council’s waste contractor – focusing on motorists who choose to drive “recklessly on pavements” to get around recycling & waste vehicles. Local authorities in Kent and Staffordshire are among those to also promote the safety message.
To do this, the campaign shares genuine CCTV footage from vehicles, providing “an insight into the day-to-day dangers council collection crews’ experience”.
The council uploaded the below video to YouTube as part of the campaign, and has also fitted all of its bin lorries and cleaning vehicles in Wakefield with CCTV on all sides of the vehicle to capture motorists in the act. New vehicle livery is also being installed to inform drivers.
Cllr Maureen Cummings, cabinet member for environment and communities at Wakefield, said that while she understands frustration of having to wait in traffic, people need to be aware of the consequences that dangerous driving can create.
“I appreciate that motorists are sometimes in a hurry and meeting a bin lorry slowing down a free flow of traffic may stress them.
Cllr Cummings added: “I support this campaign a thousand per cent and stand behind the police taking tough action to nip this bad behaviour in the bud and prosecuting offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”
“I support this campaign a thousand per cent and stand behind the police taking tough action to nip this bad behaviour in the bud”
Echoing this was Inspector Richard Clare of West Yorkshire Police, who said: “West Yorkshire Police are proud to be working in partnership with Wakefield Council to improve the safety of refuse collectors and members of the public. We will be reviewing the CCTV provided by the Council, and seek to prosecute offenders wherever possible.”
Biffa, has estimated that there are 30,000 incidents a month in the waste industry alone across the UK while the Department for Transport statistics show that there has been an average of 2,500 accidents between pedestrians and vehicles on pavements each year.
In Wakefield, over the last 18 months, there has been an average of one incident every two months. It is believed that the number of incidents is higher due to previous under-reporting.