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Issue 332 – Problem drivers targeted in “Operation Fluid”

Police in Frome have carried out an operation to tackle problem drivers in the town.

Under ‘Operation Fluid’, 31 vehicles were stopped and examined in the Wessex Fields area, the town centre and around Marston Trading Estate.
The operation was held in response to community concerns regarding anti-social driving behaviour of young drivers of cars and small motorcycles.
Of the vehicles stopped, 11 cars were driven by young drivers aged between 17 and 24 years old.
Among these, four vehicles were taken off the road for illegal window tints, insecure bumpers or lights and, in one case, an excessively noisy exhaust.
Two drivers were also given verbal cautions for lighting defects, one driver was fined for not having an MOT test certificate and one for failing to wear a seat belt and having an unauthorised number plate.
Two drivers were spoken to about possible documentation offences and required to produce their documentation at a police station.
Five mopeds were also stopped and one of those was taken off the road because of the poor condition of the vehicle while one driver received a caution for failing to display a front L Plate.
In addition to these stop checks, officers also carried out stop checks on taxis to ensure their roadworthiness.
Of the 15 taxis stopped, nine had no offences. However, three were unable to continue until they had rectified a problem with faulty tyres.
One driver was cautioned for having a defective number plate light, another was spoken to about the general condition of their vehicle and another was reported for not having his I.D. badge as this is a legal requirement.
The operation, which was held on 16th July from 7.00pm until 11.00pm, was supported by Special Constables, PCSOs, Road Policing Unit officers, a VOSA vehicle examiner and an enforcement officer from Mendip District Council.
Sgt Nigel Butler said, “This enforcement action sent a positive message to those engaged in anti-social driver behaviour that police will carry out stop checks and will not tolerate illegal driving or vehicles. Similar initiatives will continue to encourage safer driving and reduce road casualties.
“It also reminds all road users that they are required by law to ensure their vehicles are maintained and roadworthy for their own safety and the safety of their passengers and other road users.”
Police are urging younger drivers to follow some simple advice to improve their safety and avoid ending up with a fine, points or losing their vehicles.
• If you are under 17 – do not remove the restrictor from a moped’s exhaust system. If those restrictors are removed, it will no longer be classified as a moped, and your driving licence and insurance will be invalid.
• Italic number plates or other non-standard fonts are not allowed. You will receive a £60 fixed penalty every time you are stopped by the police.
• When applying or buying tinted windows, remember that windscreens must allow 75% light through the front window and 70% through the side.
• All vehicles which are more than 3 years old will require an MOT certificate. This ensures that the vehicle is safe to drive.
• Car tyres must be free from cuts and splits and have 1.6mm of tread across 3/4 of the breadth of the tyre.
• If you are prosecuted for exceeding the speed limit you are likely to get a minimum of 3 points and a fine.
• It is against the law to drive a car, moped or motorcycle in a public place without insurance.
• Participating in unauthorised cruises or races can lead to arrest, having your vehicle seized and a fine. There are many legal car shows, meets and track days across the country.
• Don’t fall victim to the “fatal four”, which often are the cause of collisions and accidents – excessive and inappropriate speed, failure to wear a seat belt, using a mobile phone whilst driving and driving whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
For more information and advice, young drivers can either call their local policing teams on 0845 456 7000 or visit or

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