A MAJOR campaign is under way across Bury as part of a crackdown on speeding motorists.

Police have been stopping vehicles, speaking with drivers, issuing penalty notices and fines in a bid to combat speed-related crimes.

Officers are taking part in a two-week campaign to reduce road fatalities, increase awareness of the dangers of speeding, and encourage motorists to drive in accordance with the law.

The campaign, which began on January 14 and is to end this Sunday, is part of a nationwide crackdown.

Moshe Rothstein, special constabulary inspector in Bury, said: “We have been working across the borough, covering speeding hotspots, which were identified in response to complaints from residents.

“Some of the speeding issues around Bury are a nightmare. It is important to hold dedicated campaign days like this to target the issue.”

Special police constables and neighbourhood police teams took to streets of Bury, Prestwich, Whitefield, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom and Tottington with speed guns.

They targeted Middleton Road, Sheepfoot Lane, Hilton Lane, and Heywood Road in Prestwich, Sunny Bank Road in Whitefield, Walmersley Road and Hollins Lane in Bury, to name a few.

Police said they had received a number of complaints from residents living near Heaton Park in Prestwich.

Officers said there was always a reason for the locations they targeted. They often station themselves near to parks, schools, care homes or similar.

On Monday, they issued 13 speeding tickets in Prestwich and stopped a further seven vehicles to give verbal advice.

Police only stopped speeding drivers. For every vehicle they stop, they have been running full checks, including searching for a valid car insurance, licence, and inspecting tyres.

SC Insp Rothstein said: “In Middleton Road and Sheepfoot Lane in Prestwich, we witnessed speeds of 47mph in 30mph zones.

"The highest speeds we experienced were in Ringley Road West, in Radcliffe, where someone was travelling at 55mph in a 30mph zone, with two children in the vehicle. That is far too fast. It is dangerous.

“For those who are caught speeding because they are in a rush for work, we try and get them onto a speed awareness course to educate them about the dangers of the roads. I think that has a long-term impact on them.

“But drivers who speed and race around on a regular basis will eventually lose their licence.

"Travelling above 40mph in a 30mph zone is ridiculous. They will not get a speed awareness course. They will get points on their licence.”

Police dedicated last Friday to patrolling three key locations - Affetside, Hawkshaw and Greenmount.

In total, six drivers received verbal warnings.

"As well as looking out for speeding drivers", SC Insp Rothstein said, "we also gave time over to engage with members of the public.

"We spoke with some young people, and let one teenage boy have a go on the speed gun. It made his day.

"On the whole, residents were really really grateful for what we were doing. But sadly we can't do this every day."

Another dedicated campaign is expected to take place in April.

The Bury operation has taken place as part of a three-week long ‘Speed Enforcement’ initiative, which was co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Held across the UK from Monday January 7 to Sunday January 27, the campaign aims to:

n Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads

n Tackle irresponsible and dangerous drivers committing speeding offences

n Increase awareness of the dangers — both to offenders and to other road users — of speeding

n Encourage motorists to drive at speeds that are safe for the road environment and to always adhere to speed limits

Police divisions across the country have been undertaking enforcement and educational activities over the course of the campaign.

If prosecuted for speeding, the minimum penalty is a £100 fine and three penalty points.

You could be disqualified from driving if you build up 12 or more penalty points within a period of three years.

When a speeding offence is committed, a Notice of Intended Prosecution will be issued in some form to the registered keeper of the vehicle. Offences caught by speed cameras will mean that the NIP is delivered in the post, whereas being caught by the police will generally result in a verbal NIP issued forth from an officer’s mouth.

A verbal NIP is enough, but if the police do not give you one, they have 14 days to issue a NIP to you through the post. After this, you will usually have 28 days to respond – if you don’t reply in time, you could face 6 points on your licence and a fine of up to £1,000.