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Fly-on-the-wall series captures traffic police involved in crash drama

A NEAR-miss on the notorious A 537 Cat and Fiddle road in Macclesfield is captured on film in the first of a new series of the blockbusting BBC 1's "Traffic Cops" documentary which is to be screened next Monday night.

A NEAR-miss on the notorious A 537 Cat and Fiddle road in Macclesfield is captured on film in the first of a new series of the blockbusting BBC 1's "Traffic Cops" documentary which is to be screened next Monday night.

Within minutes of its opening scenes a motorist loses control of his car and almost crashes head-on... with a police patrolman out with the camera crew.

Luckily, the experienced officer used his skills to avoid a collision and the embarrassed driver got off with a rap on the knuckles for being a nuisance.

He could have faced court.

PC Darren Daniels, said: "Although his actions weren't intentional, that momentary lapse of judgement put both our lives at risk.

"Roads deserve respect and I had to give him a stern talking to. I don't think he'll drive recklessly again, for a while at least. If he ignores my advice I'll be there to catch him."

The drama and the work of Cheshire Police's traffic officers will be seen in the new "cop-umentary" to be shown next Monday, January 17, 2005 at 9pm.

The programme - which in previous series has attracted more than seven million viewers - focuses on the work of the Cheshire's road policing officers and in particular on issues relating to road safety and reducing the number of road deaths and serious injury.

David Griffin, Assistant Chief Constable, said: "We want people to see the reality of road policing. Sometimes this can make entertaining viewing for the public. For Cheshire Police, it's an ideal opportunity to communicate some serious public safety messages to as many people as possible."

In the first one-hour installment entitled 'The Educators', the programme examines the fight to reduce road deaths and the combination of enforcement and education officers use to keep people alive on the roads.

Local PC Darren Daniels is out on patrol on the notorious A537 'Cat and Fiddle' Macclesfield to Buxton Road which is popular with bikers and motorists.

Within minutes, a driver loses control of his car and strays into oncoming traffic... which just happens to be PC Darren Daniels' car.

High visibility patrols that use a combination of police road and air surveillance on the A537 and the introduction of a 50mph limit has halved the number of fatal and serious injuries.

Drink drivers also come under the close scrutiny of road policing officers. Alcohol-related road deaths contribute to a substantial proportion of incidents where serious injury and often death occurs.

Cheshire Constabulary has identified drink/driving as one of the three main factors contributing to road traffic collisions and tailors its road safety strategy accordingly.

The county's police breath test every driver who has been involved in a collision irrespective of whether the driver thinks they're not to blame.

During the November/ December Christmas drink drive campaign in excess of 5,700 drivers were breath tested. Of this figure 560 will be attending court having provided a positive roadside breath test.

During the two-week period from December 18. 2004 to January 2, 2005 alone 2004 persons were tested of which 135 stand to lose their licence.

The other main causation factors contributing to serious injury and fatalities are excessive or inappropriate use of speed and the failing to wear seatbelts, both of which are subject to intensive campaigns of education and enforcement throughout the year.

ACC Griffin added: "The role of road policing officers has, in recent years, become more diverse as the nature of policing in general has changed. Modern society demands that we adapt to these changes and provide the very best service to the community.

"Apart from dealing with matters that are vehicle orientated, road policing officers may be called upon to deal with matters of crime ranging from simple shoplifters to being first on scene at major crimes."

Cheshire Police would like to hear what you think of the Traffic Cops programme.

Have your say on www.cheshire.police.uk

 

Journalists

Rhiannon McDowall
Education reporter
Mike Glendinning
Sport reporter
Chris Slater
News reporter
Stuart Greer
Crime reporter
Karen Britton
Wilmslow and Alderley Edge reporter
Ben Turner
News reporter
Vic Barlow
Columnist