IGNORANT drivers along a red light jumping hotspot were targeted by the authorities on Saturday to stem a rising tide of crashes.

Wiltshire Police and Swindon Borough Council set out stalls at Orbital Shopping Park in Thamesdown Drive in a new push to quash the complacency of motorists in the busy carriageway.

‘Use your head, stop on red’ was the slogan being pushed on a day targeting the simplest of road warnings, which is regularly ignored, much to police officers’ dismay.

“It’s the ignorance that people have on it because, as we’ve identified ourselves, if you go through a red traffic light then it’s quite likely there’s going to be a collision,” said Sergeant Gavin Brewster, a member of the roads safety unit for 12 years.

He added: “It’s not difficult. I can only imagine it’s people’s lifestyles are busy, they’re in a rush, impatient, whichever.

“While we haven’t had a high number of serious injury collisions on this road, there are a large number of damage-only collisions that occur, which is inevitable if you’ve got people ignoring red lights.”

The day of action was a two-way process and allowed residents and drivers to provide feedback on the problem as they see it, also making suggestions for solving the problem.

“Local people have highlighted problems on the junctions, not just red light jumping, but some people have pointed out confusion over the layout,” said Sergeant Brewster.

“The police don’t own the roads, the council own the roads, but what we can do is talk to the council and give them the feedback with our professional opinion.”

Margaret Tester was representing the council on the day as its road safety manager and explained this campaign has been running for a while, but the Black Friday weekend of shopping was a good opportunity with more shoppers around.

“It’s a national problem. We mirror that in the borough. This isn’t the only site we have red light running, but it’s just we’ve had the higher number of collisions here,” she said.

But why is the problem so prevalent in Thamesdown Drive? She said: “It’s a straight road with good visibility and people get complacent.”

Trolley coins engraved with the ‘Use your head’ message were given out in an effort to keep the safety warnings fresh in people’s minds from day-to-day.

Ms Tester said the problem was purely driver error.

She felt, despite the wind and rain, the day was a success.

“They’re pleased we’re here today and they’ve also had the opportunity to talk to police about the problem, which is reassuring,” she said.