Twenty drivers who thought they were above the law have been brought to justice in the last year as part of a drive-by dedicated police unit to combat speeding and related fraud.
The West Yorkshire Police Prosecutions and Casualty Prevention Unit have said more prosecutions are in the pipeline as it continues to bring motorists who try to evade justice for traffic offences to the task.
A combined total of more than eight years imprisonment has been handed out in the last year as well as 1140 hours of unpaid work and 5 years in suspended sentences.
It has also warned that a combination of its investigations, dashcam and helmet cam footage, and the establishment of a special police webpage that the public can use to submit footage of traffic offences, has made it very hard for dangerous drivers to try and duck their way out of prosecutions.
In a recent prosecution on 20 May, a 26-year-old Dewsbury man was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence, 240 hours of community service and a £399 fine for speeding and perverting the course of justice.
He had been captured speeding on the A638 Ossett bypass in July 2019 but denied it was him, claiming he had sold the car.
Police enquiries with online advertising platforms discovered that he had not in fact put the car up for sale until months after the offence. The driver remained insured on the vehicle and paying his monthly premium despite his claim he had sold it.
In another recent case in May a Bradford man who twice provided false details to police after his car was caught speeding received an 18 month suspended prison sentence and 240 hours of unpaid work. He claimed other people with no known connection to the vehicle had been driving.
Fines worth tens of thousands of pounds have now been handed out to drivers as a result of cases brought by the unit which was formed in 2019 to investigate attempts to deny being behind the wheel at the time of traffic offences.
It is part of the West Yorkshire Casualty Prevention Partnership which aims to prevent deaths and serious injuries on the roads of West Yorkshire by ensuring those who choose to commit traffic offences are prosecuted for their actions.
Since the team were formed it has dealt with 345 offenders for traffic-related offences including dangerous driving, failing to furnish driver information and Perverting the Course of Justice.
The team has also prosecuted 4290 drivers as a result of the public’s dashcam and helmet cam submissions.
Rachel Wainwright of West Yorkshire Police’s Casualty Prevention Unit, said: “Speeding and dangerous driving costs lives in West Yorkshire as we have sadly seen time and again on our roads.
“The Digital Submissions and Investigation Team was formed to investigate cases in which drivers have been caught speeding but denied being behind the wheel, often by claiming they had sold the vehicle on or someone else was driving.
“The number of criminal cases we have now successfully brought before the courts should demonstrate how hard it now is for offenders to pull the wool over our eyes and evade prosecution.
“Those who try and deny speeding offences should also be aware they are in fact Perverting the Course of Justice which is a serious criminal offence, which results in you having a criminal record. Having this offence on your record could affect your life with things like jobs and finance”
“This is a very serious offence which has resulted in motorists being given prison sentences.”
Paul Jeffrey Partnership and Innovation manager at West Yorkshire Police, said: “With speed camera footage, dashcam, helmet cam and phone footage the force has more tools to investigate speeding and dangerous driving than ever before and we will always fully investigate in cases where we suspect drivers are trying to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
“We continue to urge anyone who has footage of traffic offences or dangerous driving to submit it to our Safer Roads Submissions portal.”