A MERCEDES filled with five young women speeding at 98mph was among more than 200 vehicles caught over the limit on Dorset's busy A35 in one day as part of a huge police operation aimed at slashing road fatalities.

Dorset Police took part in the 'One Road, One Week' campaign organised by the National Police Chiefs' Council. Resources were focused on the A35 - last week the scene of a devastating motorcycle collision which left a rider fighting for his life. The road was chosen because it has a 70mph speed limit and is commonly used by tourists visiting the area.

Police bikes, marked cars and unmarked cars were sent out to 'flood' the road as part of the operation.

Throughout the day, police said they detected more than 200 speeding drivers along a stretch of the route and stopped more than 50 motorists for various road traffic offences.

Communications manager at Dorset Police, Kristian Ward, said: "We want to reduce the number of people who are killed and injured on our roads so, by having a larger presence today, I hope we can raise some awareness of the danger of breaking law as well as tackle driver behaviour."

Five women, aged between 20 and 25, were caught travelling in a Mercedes at 98mph on their way to Durdle Door. Police caught the women, from Southampton, using a laser which alerted them to the high speed the car was travelling at.

While one of the passengers - who was the insurance holder for the car - was being questioned, police discovered the driver was uninsured so she was cautioned and reported to court. The insurance holder may also be reported to court for allowing an uninsured person to drive.

After she was cautioned, she said: "I am feeling fine about it.

"I'm just hungry now so want to get going."

They then continued on their journey to Durdle Door.

Dorset Police has been focusing on reducing the 'fatal five' offences which refers to drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, driving while distracted and careless driving.

Within the first two hours of the day, three drivers were stopped for speeding, all of whom were from outside the area.

Police Constable Paul Wilson, of the road traffic unit, said: "We are a tourist rich place to live and we often stop people who do not live in the area. Those people have got to have their wits about them and pay attention.

"They have to be more aware when they are in a unknown place as they could have easily caused an accident which could have been fatal."

Mr Ward added: "Officers are seeing people get mutilated by vehicles which is appalling. We often get ridiculed because we will use resources to pull a driver over for not wearing a seatbelt but it is that person not wearing a seatbelt that could be killed so we need to catch these things early."

Police also stopped the driver of a Lamborghini for having the front windows too heavily-tinted.


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