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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 September, 2004, 06:17 GMT 07:17 UK
Police target illegal drivers
Hundreds of vehicles will be stopped during Operation Viper
Hundreds of vehicles will be stopped during Operation Viper
A two-day police operation in response to increasing road deaths will take place this weekend.

It will target careless and dangerous driving, motorists on drink and drugs, excess speed and seat belts.

Hundreds of vehicles will be stopped during Operation Viper, which begins on Friday.

Its aim is to promote road safety, detect traffic offences and combat ordinary crime.

Chief Inspector Douglas Hogg, who is commanding the operation, said: "This is a follow on from previous Viper operations and is a response to the mounting road deaths.

"Province-wide, 70 people are dead so far this financial year compared to 63 during the same period last year.

"I find this death toll very depressing given that we in Road Policing, our colleagues in the rest of the police service and road safety campaigners are using every means possible to promote safe driving.

"It is clear that the message is not getting across."

He said police officers would also be alert to criminal activity, public disorder and the role vehicles played in carrying stolen property.

Chief Inspector Hogg said the decision to announce the operation in advance was a conscious one.

"I would like to think that prior knowledge of this operation will be a deterrent - prevention is an important part of our strategy - but drivers should be in no doubt, if they ignore the warnings they will be facing fines, penalty points or prosecution," he said.

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