Driver becomes first to be convicted using new rules to protect police speed camera operators

A team of traffic cops have secured their first conviction under new legislation introduced earlier this year to help protect speed camera operators.

By Fiona Thompson
Monday, 03 June, 2019, 12:40
The incident is the first to lead to a conviction under the new rules.

Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit took after an incident where a civilian speed camera operator was obstructed as they worked.The incident happened on the A689 near Hartlepoool on Friday, May 10.

Police on the scene of the incident last month.

Craig Mason, 27, of Salter Walk, Hartlepool, appeared at Teesside Magistrates Court on Friday.

He was charged with obstructing a designated person under section 38 of the Police Reform Act, a section 5 public order offence and possession of a Class B drug.

He was ordered to pay back £383.00 in total, consisting of £268 fine, a £30 victim surcharge and £85 in costs.

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Sergeant Steve Teasdale, from the Camera Enforcement Unit within Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “It is unacceptable that some people think it is OK to intimidate and distress members of staff who are simply doing their job and it will not be tolerated. “My team are committed to road safety, something I know is very subjective to most and can be quite a political subject.

"We attended this location through complaints from the public who expressed their concerns about speeding.

"We listened to their concerns and as a result we deployed to the A689.

“The work of a speed camera operator is essential for helping to keep people safe on our roads.

"Speeding is one of the four main contributing factors in serious and fatal collisions and in Cleveland and Durham, we will make full use of this law against anyone who, through their actions, seeks to prevent the police from fulfilling the desire of the wider community to have safer roads.“During our last speeding campaign, drivers were clocked travelling at 95mph on a 50mph road in Hartlepool and 88mph on a 30mph road in Thornaby.

"Speeding is something that we need to tackle together, as a community, in order to lessen the number of avoidable and tragic deaths on our roads.”