OFFICERS and speed cameras will be out in force at accident hotpots as part of a police campaign to reduce dangerous driving.

North Yorkshire Police has this week launched a campaign to reduce casualties on three routes that see the most serious crashes.

Roads policing officers and safety camera vans will be out in force on the A64, A65 and A1(M) in the region.

Surrounding routes, including residential areas and B-roads, will also be covered.

The action is part of a two-week nationwide speed reduction campaign by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC).

Named ‘Operation Vis’, the first week of the campaign will involve higher than normal police visibility on the roads with the most serious and fatal collisions.

Mobile safety cameras will be deployed to 55 sites on the A64, A65 and A1(M) alone, including 11 safety camera vans and one safety camera bike.

The second week of the campaign will involve county-wide enforcement specifically in residential and community areas. Community Speed Watch groups will be supporting the campaign.

Andy Tooke, of North Yorkshire Police’s Traffic Bureau, said: “Excessive and inappropriate speed is consistently one of the common factors in the fatal and serious injury collisions we deal with.

“We see the devastating collisions and horrific injuries it causes. And often speed-related collisions are entirely preventable.

“The safety cameras we use have been independently proven to reduce casualties by 20 per cent when deployed to a site.

“That site may be a high-speed road like the A1(M) or it may be a small rural village, but either way we want to have a strong presence and high visibility to ensure motorists drive carefully and stick to the rules of the road.

“We won’t just be enforcing speed though. As ever, we’ll be using our cameras to enforce other offences too, including drivers using mobile phones, not wearing seatbelts or crossing solid white lines.”

North Yorkshire Police recently revealed the highest speeds recorded by mobile safety cameras in 30mph community areas. The highest was 82mph in a 30mph zone on Wetherby Road, Harrogate.

Andy added: “Residents constantly tell us they don’t like people speeding through their communities, and Op Vis is one of the ways we can address these concerns head-on, with very high visibility and enforcement activities around housing, schools, parks and other community areas where speed poses a real threat to people’s safety.”

Inspector Jeremy Bartley, who investigates major collisions, said: “If you saw what I saw when investigating serious and fatal road traffic collisions, you’d know that a common factor to the cause of the collision is the conditions the driver faces and their capability to deal with those conditions.

“Speed is one of the main factors in regards to capability. Reducing speed greatly enhances reaction and braking times, allowing the driver to be able to safely deal with the conditions. The speed limit is just that, a limit, driving to the conditions is the priority. Please slow and give yourselves more control and time to react.”

North Yorkshire Police launched its first safety camera van in 2011 and their use is cost-neutral, meaning the revenue they generate is about the same as the running costs.

The force recently published a Mobile Safety Camera Mythbuster, dispelling some of the myths around the use of cameras and explaining why and how the are used.