Wiltshire has a complex road network with the M4 corridor through the north and the A303 through the south.

On top of that, we have some extremely rural roads spanning the entire county. Our Roads Policing Unit, therefore, has a difficult but crucial role in keeping our roads as safe as possible for all road users.

Days of action like the one held by RPU last week are more important than ever – our roads have never been busier and their dedication to targeting drivers who fail to abide by the law is something that we, as road users, should all be extremely grateful to have.

The day of action on Wednesday 25 May, saw approximately 20 officers deal with more than 140 offences on the county’s roads in just one 12-hour shift.

This rather unsurprisingly, but nevertheless disappointingly, included the offences we have come to expect to see including failing to wear a seatbelt, driving without insurance and using a mobile phone while driving.

However, officers also came across some rather shocking scenes involving very young children.

One vehicle stopped in Swindon was loaded with planks of wood balanced rather precariously over a new-born baby’s head in a rear car seat, while a vehicle stopped in Salisbury saw a one-year-old travelling on the lap of another passenger while drinking from a bottle.

There were no suitable car seats in sight. It really is unbelievable that people continue to take such risks and with such young children on board. The importance of baby car seat safety is so well publicised these days that there really is no excuse.

All too often, our officers are attending horrific road traffic collisions – often these collisions are preventable. Informing family members that their loved one has been killed is probably the most difficult part of a police officer’s job.

Knocking on someone’s front door with news that will shatter their lives is a feeling no officer will ever forget.

I, therefore, cannot stress enough how important it is that road safety is taken seriously.

I’d like to thank those officers involved in last week’s day of action.

It is thanks to their hard work that multiple drivers will receive fines, and in some cases, disqualifications for their actions. Hopefully this will make them think carefully next time they get behind the wheel of a car.

The hard work of our Roads Policing Unit isn’t just confined to days of action.

Every single day they are out and about targeting road users who fail to abide by the law, from those sending a quick message on their phone, to those consuming excessive amounts of alcohol before driving.

The road commands your full attention at all times and if you commit an offence while driving in Wiltshire, you will be caught and there will be consequences.