Number of traffic police down by a third in last decade
A lack of traffic police could undermine efforts to crack down on dangerous driving, including handheld mobile phone use.
So says the RAC as figures obtained via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by the Press Association find the number of dedicated traffic police has reduced by around 30% in the last decade.
Across the 30 regional forces that replied the FOI, there are now 2,643 traffic officers compared to 3,766 traffic officers in 2007.
According to RAC spokesman Rod Dennis, the hand-held phone epidemic could get worse unless the reductions in traffic police numbers stop.
He commented: “Illegal mobile phone use at the wheel has been a growing problem in the UK and those that persist in breaking the law need to know there is a real threat of getting caught.
“We welcomed the tougher penalties that came in earlier this year, but to be effective they must be backed up by rigorous enforcement.”
Rod Dennis stressed that police forces are “doing their best under difficult circumstances” but warns that the reduction in dedicated roads police officers “risks allowing the epidemic of using a hand-held phone at the wheel to continue or even worsen”.
“The public is entitled to question whether the Government is allocating enough resources to keeping our roads safe,” he added.