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Operation Carbon to target dangerous young drivers 19 November 2008

Launch of Operation CarbonPOLICE are targeting dangerous young drivers as part of a hard-hitting new road safety initiative. Operation Carbon is being co-ordinated by the IoM Constabulary’s Road Policing Unit in a bid to reduce the number of serious incidents on the Island’s roads.

Young motorists who are identified as a risk to themselves or others will face police action such as home visits, education courses or prosecution. The aim is to improve road safety by clamping down on the age group that is statistically the most likely to be involved in a serious or fatal collision.

The campaign was launched at police headquarters today (Wednesday) and will be rolled out across the five neighbourhood policing areas. The pro-active approach will see attention focussed on motorists aged 16 to 25 years who drive in an anti-social or reckless manner.

Anybody who is the subject of repeated complaints about his or her driving will come under increased scrutiny from the police as part of Operation Carbon. Those caught driving at excessive speed, performing dangerous manoeuvres or showing a general lack of consideration for other motorists can also expect to face action.

Acting Detective Inspector Terry Stephen, who has played a leading role in establishing the scheme, said: ‘Fatal road traffic collisions have a devastating impact, not only on the families involved but also the wider community, especially in a close-knit area such as the Isle of Man. Statistics show that a disproportionate percentage of drivers in the 16 to 25 age bracket are involved in serious incidents on our roads. Consequently we are launching a new intelligence-led initiative to target inexperienced drivers who are most at risk. We hope that early intervention, supported by education and enforcement measures, will lead to a change in attitude and an improvement in driving standards. We want to stop anti-social young drivers before they kill themselves or other road users.'

Insp. Power, DHA Minister Mr Earnshaw, A/DI StephenOfficers in the five neighbourhoods – Douglas, Eastern, Western, Southern and Northern – will work in conjunction with colleagues at the Road Policing Unit to feed back information about problem drivers. And members of the public are being encouraged to play their part by reporting any incidents of dangerous driving to the police.

Inspector Richard Power, head of the Road Policing Unit, said: ‘Operation Carbon is being introduced as a way to improve community safety through pro-active policing. Those who persist in driving in an irresponsible manner should know that they run a very high risk of being apprehended and dealt with. ‘Initially this may involve a home visit by a police officer who will talk to the young driver concerned in the presence of his or her parents. Education forms an important part of this initiative and we are also seeking to develop driver improvement courses. In more serious cases offenders will be prosecuted and could lose their licenses through an accumulation of penalty points.’

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