Speeding and drug driving were just some of the many offences picked up during a road safety operation in Maidstone town centre.

Kent Police joined forces with Maidstone Borough Council in a bid to protect all road users from harm on Thursday 10 March 2022.

Officers from the force’s specialist Road Safety Unit used a mixture of marked and unmarked vehicles to patrol Maidstone to ensure drivers were adhering to the law. They were joined by representatives from the council’s Waste Crime Team and taxi licensing department, and other police officers from the Safety Camera Team, Maidstone’s Town Centre Team, Police Community Support Officers from Tonbridge and patrols from the Rural Task Force.

Traffic offences

The first stop of the day was a commercial vehicle carrying an insecure load. The driver, aged 27 from Aylesford, was stopped in St Peter’s Street. He also failed a roadside drugs test for cocaine and was arrested. He has since been released pending further investigation.

Throughout the day, more than 40 other vehicles were stopped and drivers were reported for various traffic offences including no insurance, tax, or MOT, using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt.

Officers diverted some of the drivers to a car park in St Peter’s Street where they could safely give advice and inspect the vehicles. They also used this area to weigh large vehicles using portable weight plates to ensure the vehicles were not carrying too much. As a result one driver was fined £300.

Speeding and drug driving arrests

An unmarked police bike pulled over a vehicle on the A20 London Road. The driver, Alekseja Basjuks, 38, of Gorse Crescent in Aylesford, was arrested and charged with drink driving. He is due to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday 5 April 2022.

Another motorist, a 23-year-old man from Maidstone, was arrested on suspicion of drug driving after failing a roadside drug test in Phillips Avenue. His vehicle was searched and officers seized a quantity of cannabis.

Safety Camera Team detected 122 offences

The force’s Safety Camera Team detected 122 offences throughout the day. The majority of the drivers caught speeding were recorded on the A229 and Warmlake Road, but other offences took place on the A20 London Road, Sutton Road and Tonbridge Road.

Maidstone Borough Council inspected six vehicles and seized one van as the driver was carrying waste without a waste carriers licence. The council’s taxi licensing team also inspected seven taxis, one driver was required to fix a defective tyre and another was not displaying the correct documentation.

Chief Inspector Craig West of Kent Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: ‘Motorists who break the law on the road are not only a danger to themselves but to other people too. Thankfully the majority of drivers in Kent do follow the law and drive safely, but there are still some who think the rules don’t apply to them and take unnecessary risks.

‘Road safety is an important part of policing in Kent. Regular joint agency operations like this one are key because they give us greater opportunities to catch those people who are out there taking risks and ensure they face the consequences of their actions.

‘We will always be committed to road safety because it saves lives.’

By Ed

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