'Operation Wyken'

Suffolk and Norfolk police forces issued 250 traffic offence reports in a week-long campaign to promote seat belt use.
Operation Wyken, completed from July 6-10, saw the constabularies carry out patrols on the A14, A11 and A47.
They were provided with …

Police report 250 Norfolk and Suffolk drivers in seat belt crackdown

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore with officers from Operation Wyken Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore with officers from Operation Wyken Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE


Officers from Suffolk and Norfolk police have reported 250 lorry drivers as part of a national crackdown on seat belt avoidance.

The two forces launched Operation Wyken once again last week, deploying an HGV tractor unit from Orwell Trucks in Martlesham, which allowed them to get a better view of offending lorry, van and car drivers.

The cab, driven by a police officer, was used during patrols on the A14, A11 and A47 and coincided with the National Police Chiefs’ Council two-week seat belt campaign from June 29 to July 12.

Between Monday, July 6 and Friday, July 10, the forces handed 250 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) to drivers for 280 offences. One man was also arrested on suspicion of drug driving.

Among the most common offences was those not wearing seat belts, with 168 people found flouting the law, while a further 19 were also found to be driving while using their mobile phone.

Others included dangerous driving and for exceeding maximum driving hours.

Acting chief inspector Gary Miller, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said the number of offences spotted were “staggering” and thanked Orwell Trucks for their support.

Chief Insp Miller added: “Due to the physical height of commercial vehicles, it is often difficult for patrol officers to view into the cab and thereby detect offences, such as not wearing a seatbelt or using a mobile phone.

“The HGV cab provides officers with an ideal vantage point to spot drivers committing offences and provides us with another means to enforce the law with this specific group of road users, who due to the size of the vehicles they are in control of, pose an added risk to other motorists and also themselves if they are committing offences whilst driving.”

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, added: “I can’t believe that professional drivers can risk their lives, their livelihood and the lives of others, looking at their phones and not wearing seatbelts.

“I fully support the Constabulary’s campaign to crack down on irresponsible drivers who still refuse to buckle up whilst driving, but it amazes me that drivers should need to be reminded about something so obvious.

“Everyone knows you are more likely to die in a crash if you don’t wear a seat belt, so I just can’t

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Jaguar driver who died in A47 crash near Wisbech attempted phone call moments before collision

An inquest has been held into the death of a man who died in a crash on the A47. Picture: Matthew Usher.

An inquest has been held into the death of a man who died in a crash on the A47. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

A removals worker who died in a crash on the A47 attempted to telephone his partner moments before drifting into oncoming traffic, an inquest has heard.

Stephen Short, who previously worked in security for the Saudi Arabian royal family, died on November 3 after his Jaguar S Type drifted into the path of an oncoming Tesco lorry.

The incident happened on the A47 at Walsoken, near Wisbech, around 500 yards south of the B198 Walton Highway roundabout, with the road closed for several hours following the crash. He was declared dead at the scene.

On Friday, an inquest into the 53-year-old’s death heard how just moments before the crash he had attempted to return a telephone call from his partner, having left work early.

Mr Short, who was heading in the direction of Peterborough, then drifted into the King’s Lynn bound carriageway, colliding with the lorry.

However, evidence given by Stuart Aldous of Norfolk Constabulary, who investigated the incident – read out by area coroner Yvonne Blake – said there was no way of telling whether Mr Short had access to hands-free technology in his car.

The officer added that his partner had received a notification on Facebook that he had also read a Facebook message from her in the moments prior.

He said: “Mr Short was wearing a seat belt before being cut out of his vehicle by firefighters and did not have any sign of drugs or alcohol in his system.”

He added that there were no defects with the road conditions that could have contributed to the collision and the driver of the lorry also tested negative for drugs and alcohol.

The lorry driver’s mobile phone was examined and was found not to have been used at any point leading up to the collision.

A statement from the lorry driver read out at the hearing recalled how the crash had turned the Jaguar into “a mangled mess of metal”.

Ms Blake gave a short form conclusion that Mr Short had died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Mr Short was from Hampton Hargate, near Peterborough.

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Lorry driver died from crash injuries, inquest hears

The A47 was closed after the crash at Little Fransham. Photo: Abigail Nicholson

The A47 was closed after the crash at Little Fransham. Photo: Abigail Nicholson


An inquest has opened into the death of a lorry driver in a crash on the A47.

Calvin Beckett, 47, who lived in Dereham, was involved in a collision between a lorry, a tanker and a car at Little Fransham on the A47, on Friday, March 6.

Mr Beckett was pronounced dead at the scene.

At an inquest opened into his death held at Norfolk Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, March 17, Yvonne Blake, area coroner for Norfolk said Mr Beckett had been employed as an HGV delivery driver.

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His cause of death was given as a chest injury due to a road traffic collision.

On March 6, police were called to the A47 at Little Fransham at around 10.45am following reports of a crash between three vehicles.

Emergency services including the air ambulance and fire service were also called to the scene.

Following the collision the road was closed between Wendling and the McDonald’s roundabout near Swaffham for several hours.

Mr Beckett’s inquest has been adjourned for a pre-inquest review on June 15.

Lorry driver jailed for fatal A47 crash at Tilney St Lawrence

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A lorry driver ploughed into a broken down van on the A47 killing the driver, who was sitting inside the vehicle, a court heard.

Igors Salmins, 51, failed to see the van parked on the roadside at Tilney St Lawrence, near King’s Lynn, despite Ricards Saputko, 59, having warning hazard lights on, and there being good visibility, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said for some reason Salmins failed to see the van and his lorry ploughed into the back causing Mr Saputko to be ejected from the vehicle. He suffered serious brain injury and died later that day.

Mr Youell said that section of the A47 where the accident happened had no hard shoulder.

“He drove straight into the back of that vehicle, which was there to be seen.”

He read out a victim impact statement from Mr Saputko’s wife, Irina, who described him as a “loving and supportive” husband, who was always the first person to help others. She said she missed him every day.

Salmins, of Elm High Road, Wisbech, who had the help of a Russian interpreter, admitted causing the death of Mr Saputko by careless driving on January 28, 2018.

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Jailing him for eight months, Judge Anthony Bate said the loss to Mr Saputko’s family could in no way equate to any sentence the court could impose and said how his wife spoke movingly about the loss of her husband.

He said: “The loss is beyond measure.”

He told Salmins: “You were not paying proper attention to the road ahead of you. You completely failed to see his broken down vehicle.”

He added that his reaction had been far too late to avoid the accident.

Judge Bate also imposed an 18 month driving ban.

Hugh Vass, for Salmins, said: “Nothing will bring back Mr Saputko. Whatever sentence will be scant solace to his widow and daughter.”

He said that there were no aggravating features such as Salmins using a mobile phone.

Mr Vass said: “He has lost his job and as a result he won’t be able to work ever again as a HGV driver.”

He added: ”For a matter of a few seconds the defendant for whatever reason did not take appropriate action and did not notice the vehicle until it was too late.”