Last Updated: 20 Feb 2019 8:19am
Today (18 February) sees the 13 Kent councils – including Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council – work with Kent Police to launch the ‘Driving Recklessly on Pavements’ (DROPs) campaign across the county. The weeklong social media campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers council collection crews face when some motorists choose to drive recklessly on pavements to get around their recycling and waste vehicles.
The safety awareness campaign provides an insight into the day-to-day dangers council collection crews experience by sharing genuine CCTV footage from recycling and waste vehicles. Most motorists drive responsibly and considerately. But this campaign aims to shock irresponsible, thoughtless, or impatient drivers into thinking again when driving in a rush, especially once they have seen the risks shown in the CCTV images.
Most Kent councils – including Tonbridge and Malling – are now fitting recycling and waste vehicles with 360-degree cameras to help fight this battle against reckless and dangerous driving. CCTV footage, along with evidence statements from witnesses, is then sent to Kent Police to take appropriate enforcement action.
David Lettington, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Street Scene and Environment Services said, “We know that most motorists wouldn’t dream of driving over a pavement to pass a refuse and recycling vehicle but this campaign is aimed at the thoughtless, impatient few who put themselves and others at risk because they can’t be bothered to wait a few moments until it’s safe to overtake.”
Kent Police is keen for reckless drivers to be punished too.
David Currie, Head of Traffic Prosecutions for Kent Police said, “When the 13 Kent councils came to us to highlight this serious issue we were only too happy to get involved. Rule 145 of the Highway Code states: ‘you must not drive on or over a pavement, footpath or bridleway except to gain lawful access to property, or in the case of an emergency.’ Therefore, it is unacceptable to drive on the pavement to pass a recycling and waste vehicle to save just a few seconds off your journey. People need to think about the consequences of their actions – if they choose to drive on the pavement they not only risk prosecution but more importantly they put themselves and others at risk of serious injury or worse.”
Top tips for motorists when travelling around recycling and waste vehicles are:
- Slow down, stay back and look out for council collection crews working or crossing the road;
- Be patient and stay behind the recycling and waste vehicle until there is a safe moment to overtake;
- Note when you encounter a recycling and waste vehicle on your travels and plan to allow extra time for your journey on those days; and
- Remember that council collection crews are just doing their job and have families they want to get home to at the end of the day.
You can follow and comment on the campaign using #stopDROPs on social media.