Essex

Essex Police fine 'on phone' driving instructor

A driving instructor on a mobile phone while taking a lesson was one of hundreds of people fined by Essex Police in a road safety operation.

Four men were arrested and more than 220 drivers issued with fixed penalty notices in the crackdown.

More than 50 officers were involved in the operation in Chelmsford on Friday. Stop checks were made at five sites

Technology was used to identify vehicles and drivers breaking road laws or involved in crime, a spokesman said.

Not insured

More than 300 vehicles were stopped and checked during the operation.

A man suspected of drink-driving, another suspected of driving off without paying for petrol and two suspected of fraud were arrested.

Five vehicles were seized because the drivers were not insured.

A total of 155 fixed £60 penalty notices and three penalty points were issued to drivers who were not wearing seat belts.

A further 63 fines were given to drivers who were driving while using a mobile telephone.

They included the driving instructor, who was using a mobile telephone while instructing a learner.

A family on their way to a wedding were stopped because they had four people in the rear seat when there were seatbelts for only three.

Trading Standards

Eleven drivers were reported for other motoring offences.

Five commercial vehicles were subjected to mechanical prohibitions and could not be moved until repairs were carried out.

The operation also included a series of speed checks carried out by police motorcyclists.

Officials from Essex Trading Standards, HM Customs and Revenue and Chelmsford Borough Council's environmental services staff also investigated a number of offences that came to light during the stop checks.

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