Parked lorries blocking the way; vans speeding-by on the inside. Just the sort of inconsiderate behaviour that leads to tension on the streets and anger in communities.
To try and diffuse potential flashpoints, Gloucestershire Constabulary is developing an App that will enable people to report commercial vehicle drivers who push the boundaries, on a mobile phone.
Still early days in the project, the force is calling on the public to help trial the technology over the next few months. By offending, or acting inconsiderately, it means things such as:
• Inconsiderate parking (e.g. blocking pavements or road access).
• Vehicles contravening height, width, or weight restrictions.
• ‘Fly tipping’.
• Dangerous, careless or inconsiderate driving.
The Constabulary’s Director of Specialist Operations, Superintendent Paul Keasey, said: “By commercial vehicles, we mean lorries and vans who are clearly making deliveries or providing services with little or no regard for other road users. It’s not about privately-owned vehicles.
“We know there is a problem with this sort of anti-social behaviour and we’ve built an App that will make it easier to report it. But at this stage, we want to prove the concept is right and for that we need to find out from the public what the issues are.
“When we have that information, we can work with the county council through the road safety partnership on finding solutions. But first, people must understand the purpose of this pilot is not to resolve issues that are raised. This is all about appreciating the scale of community concerns, and how effectively the App can be used to pass information to the Road Safety Partnership.
“When we are confident it works, it can help partnership members to provide the right resources to tackle the problems raised.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson said: “All motorists have a responsibility to treat other road users with respect, and that applies equally as much if you’re driving a lorry or a van. Just because you might be on a job is no excuse for a lack of care.
“These days, there seems to be an App for almost everything. So why not one that might help prevent bad behaviour on the road?
“I hope the public will get behind it as their feedback will be invaluable.”
Commercial Vehicle Watch, to give the project its full name, is scheduled to run from now until December. It is part of the Department for Transport’s National Roads Policing Review that is designed to make road use safer, more efficient and more secure through the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership. Information will be gathered to show how useful participants found the App, and help inform members of the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership what concerns people the most and where the biggest problems are.
To take part in the pilot, you just need to have a mobile phone (Apple or Android),
understand what the pilot is seeking to achieve and be willing to participate.
The App is free and available in the App Store to anyone who lives in Gloucestershire. Just search for the Community Matters App.
The information provided will be regularly reviewed and discussed by the Project Team. It will help them pinpoint where resources are needed to tackle the problems raised and whether communities are keen for the App to be expanded to cater for other road related issues.