Posted: Sat 28th Mar 2020

Police: ‘Taking your child out for a driving lesson is not an essential journey’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Mar 28th, 2020

The travel for ‘essential reasons only’ message is still not getting through to some people in North Wales.

New police enforcement powers were granted by the UK and Welsh Government on Thursday in a bid to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.

From now on, if members of the public do not comply with government advice to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel they can face a fine.

Officers from North Wales Police have been carrying out spot checks on vehicles across the region, in some cases turning drivers around and telling the North Wales ‘is closed’.

Police carrying out vehicle checks in Prestatyn on Friday night stopped a driver only to find it was a parent taking advantage of the quiet roads to give a driving lesson.

In post on the forces Roads Policing Unit, a spokesperson said: “Taking your child out for a driving lesson because you want to make the most of the “quiet roads” is not an essential journey.”

“Do not do it please. We are conducting checks. Stay Home Save Lives.”

Officers from the force ‘Intercept Team’ and Roads Policing Unit set up a checkpoint on the A494 in Deeside on Friday stopping those they suspected were on day trips or journeys to holiday homes.

Police said, “sadly, some are continuing to ignore the Stay Home Save Lives message as several have been stopped and turned around due to them just coming here for their ‘holiday’.”

“This is unacceptable, North Wales is currently closed. PLEASE STAY HOME.”

This morning, Saturday March 28, Chief Constable Carl Foulkes joined roads policing colleagues at the same checkpoint, who said he’d had “fantastic feedback from those we did stop.”

Those ignoring the message to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel face a fixed penalty notice of £30, which if not paid within 14 days will double to £60

If they are issued with a second or subsequent notice the charge will be £120 those who do not pay a fixed penalty notice under the regulations could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.

Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “This is a public health emergency and compliance with these measures is considered necessary to achieve the objective of effective social distancing.

We have all heard the scientific advice which clearly states this will slow the spread of the virus and save people’s lives.

These new powers will support my officers in dealing with those that have not yet fully understood the gravity of the situation.

The Government has been clear that it expects people to do the right thing in order to protect the NHS and save lives.”

 

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