New team on the road
NEW teams of officers are now working alongside traffic cops on the motorways of Herts including the A1(M). The specially trained Highways Agency traffic officers took up their duties on Monday. Herts is the second county in the Eastern Region to introduc
NEW teams of officers are now working alongside traffic cops on the motorways of Herts including the A1(M).
The specially trained Highways Agency traffic officers took up their duties on Monday.
Herts is the second county in the Eastern Region to introduce such officers.
The service will be extended during the next 12 months to cover the whole region including Bedfordshire.
Assistant chief constable for Herts Simon Parr said: "The new Highways Agency traffic officers will free up police resources to focus on core policing activity - tackling crime, dealing with serious collisions and incidents, improving poor driver behaviour and reducing casualties on the motorways in Hertfordshire.
"With levels of traffic on the increase and its associated congestion problems, the new alignment of roles will allow both the Highways Agency and the police to focus on core priorities to improve the service we give to the public."
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The new officers will start by dealing with incidents on the motorway hard shoulders including abandoned vehicles and breakdowns. With further training they will deal with minor collisions, lane closures and debris clearance.
All injury road traffic collisions, criminal incidents and road traffic offences will still be dealt with by Hertfordshire Constabulary officers. They will also continue their road safety education and enforcement work.
Chief Insp Jerry Bartlett said: "I would like to reassure motorists travelling in Hertfordshire that the new officers are not replacing police officers. The two teams of officers will work in partnership to ensure the highest levels of safety are achieved on our motorway network.
"The new service will mean more highly trained people on the roads to help drivers. This will enable the Highways Agency to better tackle congestion and make a real difference in providing effective traffic management on motorway and trunk roads in the region."
He added: "I am confident that by working together we will greatly improve services to motorists - making journeys more reliable and ensuring that time spent in jams is kept to a minimum."
The new officers will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a shift basis. They will wear uniforms and drive marked vehicles. These are not fitted with blue lights but use flashing orange lights, similar to recovery vehicles.