MORE than 400 speeding drivers have been caught in a week in Durham, Darlington and Teesside after a week-long crackdown by police.

The Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU) launched the operation on Monday, August 21, in support of a Europe-wide campaign aimed at reducing speeds and improving safety for all road-users.

During the week, 410 drivers were found to be breaking speed limits across the two force areas.

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This included 128 recorded by officers out on patrol and 282 caught by camera vans, as well as 17 other offences including not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving.

Drivers just over the speed limit were invited on a speed awareness course or issued with a fixed penalty fine or in the most serious cases face prosecution.

The highest speed recorded was 86mph in a 50mph zone, and 50mph in a 30mph zone.

Inspector Jon Curtis, from the CDSOU, said: “The number of drivers caught speeding demonstrates that enforcement action remains absolutely essential. Too many motorists are continuing to drive in an unacceptable, unsafe manner and putting lives at risk.

“We won’t tolerate speeding. Excess speed is one of the biggest single causes of all road collisions not only in our area, but nationally.

“Limits are put in place for a reason; to protect people. Drivers across Cleveland and Durham can therefore expect to see more operations like this over the coming months.”

Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for Durham Constabulary, Ron Hogg, said: “I am disappointed in the results of this latest campaign, which clearly shows hundreds of people continue to flout the law, needlessly risking their lives and the lives of others."

Barry Coppinger, Cleveland's police and crime commissioner, said: “It’s always disappointing to hear that warnings have not been heeded and people have continued to speed despite repeated messages regarding the dangers of speeding. People are killed and seriously injured on roads around the country every day due to speeding. I will continue to support the work of the CDSOU in operations like this one."