Offences detected on M4 during Operation Tramline

Gwent Police Officers returned to the cab of an unmarked HGV last week as part of an operation to crack down on motoring offences on the M4.

As part of Operation Tramline, a national road safety initiative, officers from the roads policing specialist operations department and forensic collision investigation unit were identifying examples of illegal or unsafe driving.

Drivers who were spotted committing an offence, such as using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt, were later stopped by officers.

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A465 Dowlais Top to Hirwaun - Camera scheme going live

GoSafe, the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, work with the Highways Authorities in Wales to enforce safety camera schemes.

The Welsh Government is undertaking significant works on the A465 from Dowlais Top to Hirwaun to expand the road to two lanes in each direction. These works, when complete, aim to improve the traffic flow, make it safer to overtake and also improve safety on the road in general, especially around junctions.

As part of these improvements, a 40mph speed limit has been introduced during the upgrade work to protect road users and road workers.

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The law on people using a mobile phone while driving has changed

From today, 25 March 2022, the law on people using a mobile phone while driving has become stricter.

Since 2003, when it became a specific offence to use a hand-held mobile phone or similar hand-held device while driving, mobile phones have developed to be capable of doing more than just make phone calls or send text messages.

As most hand-held mobile phones are now able to take photographs and videos, stream music and films, store books and play games, the law has been updated to reflect this.

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More than £26m funding for Highways and Transportation in Rhondda Cynon Taf

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Cabinet Members have agreed a £26.365m Capital Programme for Highways, Transportation and Strategic Projects in 2022/23 to further invest in these priority areas, while continuing to maximise external funding opportunities. 

A report to Cabinet on Monday, March 21 proposed capital allocations of £11.203m (Highways Technical Services) and £15.162m (Strategic Projects) for next year to continue to repair, maintain and future-proof the highway and transportation network, and evolve it to meet changing travel demands. Members agreed with officer recommendations to approve the Programme.

Highways Technical Services (£11.203m)

The Programme allocates £3.663m funding for Carriageways, across a list of 121 resurfacing schemes – available to view as an Appendix to the report. Funding for footway renewals (£437,000) is also allocated across 41 schemes, while 13 new Unadopted Roads schemes (£500,000) are included, in addition to the ongoing programme of seven schemes in 2021/22.

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Checking motorcycles after the winter months

North Wales Police is appealing to bikers to take extra care as many will be preparing to get back on the road after the winter months.

With the weather forecast predicted to be sunny for the coming days and the start of British Summer Time from Sunday 27th March, riders are being advised to check their bikes over carefully, as many will be getting machines out of storage for the first time as the weather improves.

Sergeant Leigh Evans of the Roads Policing Unit said, “Motorcycles may not be roadworthy after being locked up over winter, even if they were in good condition on the day they went into storage.

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Operation Utah: Newbridge

Over 80 vehicles were stopped in Newbridge last week in a crackdown on motoring offences.

Operation Utah aims to identify vehicles that are being driven illegally or aren’t road safe.

Results included:

  • 87 vehicles inspected
  • 20 traffic offences recorded
  • 8 offences identified for condition of the vehicle
  • 6 people arrested for driving under the influence of drugs
  • 3 vehicles seized for having no insurance
  • 3 traffic offences for driving with no seatbelt on
  • 3 traffic offences for insecure loads
  • 2 traffic offences for driving whilst using a mobile phone

PC Phillip Griffiths, Gwent Police said:

"Those who choose to break the law by driving vehicles whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not only put themselves at risk but other road users too.

"Driving irresponsibly, with no insurance or whilst not maintaining the condition of your vehicle, is not acceptable and focused operations such as this one ensure that those who flout the law are taken off the road immediately."

If you are concerned about unroadworthy vehicles or vehicles being driven illegally please call 101.

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Recovery operators: working with electric vehicles

The Department for Transport has issued information for professional recovery operators involved in the roadside recovery of electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

There has been a rapid increase in vehicles with an electric powertrain on public roads, which use high voltage systems incorporating a high energy battery, and this trend will continue.

The high voltage (HV) systems used in these vehicles pose different hazards to those that may be found on an internal combustion engine vehicle and these need to be considered while working with these vehicles.

The information in the document provides a reference for professionals involved in the roadside recovery of electric vehicles, to better understand the hazards associated with these vehicles and the expectations on themselves and others. This document is not exhaustive, is not intended to be a training document and should not be used as an alternative for undertaking suitable training.

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Cardiff school children welcome Wales’ largest 20mph pilot

Safer streets save lives and improves our quality of life was the message from the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters today as he welcomed the rollout of Wales’s largest 20mph pilot in Cardiff North.

Cardiff North is one of eight pilots that is being rolled out in communities across Wales to help test the process of reducing Wales’ national default speed limit on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets from 30mph to 20mph by 2023.

The pilots are part of wider consultation work that the Welsh Government is undertaking to understand public feedback on the change. Online focus groups with residents from communities involved in the first phase, independently commissioned research, and a public consultation, results out today, are all being considered ahead of a full rollout next year.

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New 20mph zones come to Monmouthshire

New 20mph zones are being introduced by Monmouthshire County Council this month. The first of these projects will see Abergavenny, Llanfoist, Magor, Undy, Caldicot, Portskewett and Caerwent all lowered from 30mph this month as part of two Welsh Government funded pilot projects. 

Plans for the introduction of pilot 20mph zones across Monmouthshire were raised at Monmouthshire County Council’s full council meeting last December. This follows the announcement in 2019 by the First Minister that 20mph should be the default speed limit for all residential roads in Wales.

New 20mph zones are also proposed for Monmouth and Wyesham, Mathern, Devauden, Shirenewton/Mynydd Bach and parts of Chepstow. It is also proposed to make the trial Bulwark/Thornwell 20mph zone permanent. The Tintern and Raglan 20mph zones have been extended for a further period of up to 18 months, before the end of which consideration will be given to making them permanent.

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CCTV enforcement vehicle delivering results in Merthyr Tydfil

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has invested in an enforcement vehicle fitted with the latest technology to help its fight against illegal parking.

Cameras on the parking enforcement vehicle photograph number plates and are enabling officers to prosecute offenders by way of penalty charge notices – civil offence charges rather than criminal.

“The cameras will be used by the parking department to capture vehicles parked illegally at zebra crossings, bus stops and zig zag markings around schools,” said Cabinet Member for Public Protection Cllr Geraint Thomas.

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