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Anti-social Driving Initiative Success

POLICE in Galloway have reported a high level of success in their clamp down on street racers. A total of 98 drivers were reported in the division during the month of October leading to a favourable response from the public in troubled areas.

Of those reported, 48 were in Stranraer and 22 in Newton Stewart. Only eight were detected in the Stewartry with a further 20 being reported by the division-wide Mobile Support Group.

During the month-long crackdown, officers came across some alarming cases of irresponsible driving.

One driver was seen going so fast that the car took a corner on two wheels and in another case police caught someone driving whilst watching an in-car television.

Sergeant Jim Loy, who has co-ordinated the crackdown, said:

"Despite our best efforts, certain drivers had been unprepared to heed warnings which had been previously administered.

"Irresponsible driving is regarded as being unacceptable within our communities and it was an inevitability that in time we needed to take more drastic action.

" The enforcement phase of our campaign to address the public concerns has been particularly successful. During the period of our initiative there were a total of 98 drivers reported for motoring offences which could be considered anti-social or irresponsible."

Explaining what the police were up against, Sgt Loy continued:

"A vehicle was being driven so fast in once case that it ended up going round a corner on two wheels.

"Another driver lost control of his car by sending a text message while driving and another was dangerously distracted by watching an in-car television whilst driving."

During the October initiative, police continued to gather reports relating to offending motorists, and it was apparent that many of the known offenders were either lying low, or on a more positive note, had reacted to police advice and improved their driving style.

However, the police have gathered intelligence from either members of the public or their own observations and will continue to address any local concerns about the so-called racers.

The initiative began in response to a public outcry over cars driving at excessive speed, engines being revved unecessarily and other instances of annoyance and danger being caused for pedestrians and motorists alike.

Certain town centre areas of Stranraer and Newton Stewart were highlighted as hotspots for late night racers.

Members of the public have since been contacted by police and have confirmed that a notable improvement has been evident in both towns. Officers on patrol have also commented that in general, drivers have either heeded advice or learned the hard way by being reported.

The initiative may be over but police are keen to keep the racers off the streets.

Sgt Loy added:

"I'd like to remind any drivers who consider becoming involved in street racing or anti-social driving that we will continue to focus our attention upon their behaviour.

"Simply because the initiative has concluded, we will not be ignoring the concerns of the public and our patrols will continue to seek out offending motorists.

"This initiative was as much about education as it was enforcement. From now on, enforcement will be our method of dealing with individuals who fall foul of our motoring laws."

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