Coronavirus: Police in North Yorkshire introduce vehicle checkpoints to enforce lockdown rules

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·2 min read
North Yorkshire police have introduced checkpoints to see why drivers are on the road. (Getty/file pic)
North Yorkshire police have introduced checkpoints to see why drivers are on the road. (Getty)

Police in North Yorkshire have introduced checkpoints for vehicles to ensure drivers stick to the government lockdown guidelines during the coronavirus crisis.

Officers from the force will question motorists to see why they are on the roads and where they are going – and remind them that they should stay at home.

The checkpoints will be unannounced and are not situated on any specific part of the road.

Boris Johnson announced on Monday that Brits should stay at home, giving limited exclusions such as buying essential items or to care for a vulnerable person.

In this screen grab taken from video, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation from 10 Downing Street, in London, Monday March 23, 2020. Johnson has ordered the closure of most retail stores and banned gatherings for three in a stepped-up response to slow the new coronavirus. The measures Johnson announced in an address to the nation on Monday night a mark a departure from the British government's until-now more relaxed approach to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. (UK Pool via AP)
Boris Johnson introduced strict lockdown measures in an address to the nation on Monday. AP)

Police have the power to disperse groups and fine people for breaking the rules.

Assistant chief constable Mike Walker, said: “The new and significant restrictions announced by the prime minister on Monday evening spell out very clearly what each and every one of us must do to save lives. The message is clear and the warning stark. Stay at home, save lives.

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“These are the lives of the people we know and love. Our partners, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents.

“You may never be in such a position again where your simple actions will lead directly to saving lives.

“Alongside the new restrictions, the government announced new powers to enforce them. I know the vast majority of people will follow the restrictions without question, as they have done so already.

“And as the legislation comes into force, the roadside checks will help us to reinforce the messaging.

“So we ask people not to make non-essential journeys, and to understand the definition of essential.

“We sincerely hope that we won’t have to resort to enforcement action, but if people do not comply, we will.”

The assistant chief constable also said his force had also seen drivers motoring at "highly excessive speeds”.

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Urging drivers to stay at home unless making essential journeys, he added they had also been stopped for offences including using their mobile phones at the wheel.

He added: "These actions can have fatal consequences which tie up emergency service and medical resources at a time when they are needed most.

"We have a duty to uphold the law and keep our roads safe for everyone, regardless of the wider situation nationally.”

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