SPEEDING drivers are being targeted as part of a week-long campaign across the North-East.

Road policing officers from Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria are all taking part in the Europe-wide campaign aimed at getting motorists to reduce their speed.

Chief Inspector Graham Milne, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU), said: “Driving at 35mph as opposed to 30mph can mean that a vehicle can take a further six metres to come to a stop.

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“Speed limits are put in place for a reason and travelling at even just a few miles over the limit can be deadly.”

In the last 12 months, a total of 20,823 speeding offences were detected in Cleveland and Durham.

Chf Insp Milne continued: “That is thousands of lives potentially put at risk because of inconsiderate drivers.

“It is heart-breaking to see the devastation caused when our officers have to deliver the news to someone that their loved one has been killed or seriously injured as a result of a collision.

“It is our job to reduce the risk of people being fatally or seriously injured on our roads, and that is why these campaigns are so crucial.”

The campaign is being co-ordinated by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL).

During the a TISPOL campaign earlier this year, 557 drivers in Durham and Cleveland were caught speeding in the seven days of action.

Officers will be carrying out additional education and enforcement activity in the area.

Ron Hogg, Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This really demonstrates that Durham Constabulary is serious about apprehending speeding drivers who are putting our communities at risk.

“Improving road safety is one of the objectives in my Police, Crime and Victims’ Plan. By working together with local communities and partners on initiatives such as Community Speed-watch, we can make our roads a safer place.”

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, said: “It is vital that those motorists who flout the law are educated about the serious risks of speeding and the devastation that can be caused to families as a result.

“Speeding is one of the major causes of fatal or serious collisions on our roads and I support all campaigns, such as this one, which aims to save lives.”

Northumbria Police are also carrying out additional enforcement in their area, with extra speed checks and mobile cameras.