First enforcement action although 'vast majority' abiding by essential travel rules
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Our specialist operations team has stopped over 120 vehicles on major routes in the county in the last 24 hours to check the reasons for travel.
The vast majority of people have had good reason, some realised they didn’t so changed their plans and three people didn’t understand at all.
The group, made up of two men and a woman, was travelling in one car on the M5 from Manchester to Bristol because they wanted to collect a car they were buying.
They said it was because there were only two cars of its type for sale in the country and did not listen to our officer when he explained this was non-essential travel.
As a result, the group was issued £60 fines and information was shared with other forces so that stronger action can be taken if they continue to travel unnecessarily.
Inspector Dan Wakeford said: “Our approach has been that officers will engage with motorists to establish why they are travelling, explain the risks to public health, encourage people to consider if they need to travel and then consider enforcement when people have refused to take the advice on board.
“Our teams have been polite but inquisitive, alert and sensitive to other potential reasons why people may be travelling. Where appropriate we have asked for letters explaining that the person is a key worker and people have been happy for us to do this.
“The one example of non-compliance shouldn’t overshadow the fact that this was one of the quietest days on the M5 in history and most people do get it.
“However it is our first enforcement action and should demonstrate that we will use our powers where needed.
“Please continue to act responsibly as my officers will be out on major routes again today and in the week ahead.
"And with next weekend being the Easter weekend please remember you should not be travelling anywhere to go on holiday."