“IF it gets uninsured cars off the road I’m all for it.”
That was the view of motorist Mark Heppenstall, 28, from Elland who was one of dozens of drivers stopped by police in Huddersfield yesterday in a bid to clamp down on uninsured drivers.
Operation Northolt is a multi-agency approach to tackling Kirklees’ uninsured and unroadworthy vehicles by stopping them in their tracks.
The high-visibility operation, which ran for six hours, saw motorists diverted into the Leeds Road playing fields car park, where officers and Vehicle Licensing Agency staff then checked their paperwork and vehicles.
The operation resulted in 88 vehicles being stopped.
The large majority were given the all-clear, including Mark, who was on his way home in his Vauxhall Astra when he was stopped by police.
But the operation did result in one seizure for no insurance. One motorist committed a driving licence offence and there were three seat-belt-related offences and one vehicle with no MOT.
A further seven vehicles were found not to have insurance.Owners now have seven days to produce paperwork.
Customs and exercise officials recovered red diesel from one vehicle, resulting in a £574 fine.
Chief Insp Paul Hepworth, who is co-ordinating the operation, said: “While criminals continue to use Huddersfield’s road networks we continue to run operations like this.
“The advantage of intelligence-led deployment means that we are able to accurately target active criminals and pursue them for traffic offences to disrupt their criminality.
“Those drivers whose vehicles were suspended are unable to earn their living until defects are rectified.
“Others should be aware that we will be repeating operations like this throughout the year. The safety of those people who choose to use a private hire vehicle is our top concern and we will be looking for any driver who is committing an offence or failing to comply with licensing regulations.”
Officers were assisted by colleagues from The Motor Insurance Bureau, Environment Agency, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), Benefit Fraud, HM Revenue and Customs and private hire enforcement.
Huddersfield Pc Jez Burkinshaw who was at the operation told the Examiner: “We have had a good response from motorists and the large majority of them support what we are doing to get uninsured drivers off the roads.”