A small team of Northumbria Police Motor Patrols Special Constables received the Zero Road Safety Award after they developed and helped run Operation Beacon.
The operation looked at the impact of night-time economy on road safety and how development in resources, policing tactics and training for officers and partners could benefit the communities they serve across the North East and help reduce harm on roads.
It also aimed to explain, encourage and, where necessary, enforce road safety messages through partnership and collaboration by creating a dynamic and holistic approach to the issue.
The initiative focused on speeding, intoxication, fatigue, seatbelts and distractions and targeted regular road users such as taxi drivers and delivery drivers as well as younger and more inexperienced motorists with an emphasis on education and enforcement of road traffic legislation.
This included sourcing extra resources around drug testing kits and breathalysers, along with advanced training for vehicle inspections.
During the week-long operation, which ran last year, 533 vehicles were stopped, three people were arrested for drug driving offences and nine taxi drivers had their licences suspended due to vehicle defects.
In recognition of their intensive efforts, the team of Special Constables were presented with a plaque as well as a £5,000 cheque to go towards further development of the initiative and to continue to protect road users across the region.
Motor Patrols Sergeant Pinner Rana, who leads the awarded team of Special Constables, said: “This operation was established to improve road safety and focus on the development of tactics and resources to strengthen our policing approach.
“Operation Beacon was resourced exclusively by volunteer Motor Patrols Special Constables who dedicated their own time to ensuring this initiative would be sustainable and would help protect communities.
Drive Tech representatives, Ian Bint, national quality manager, and Tim Innes, Northumbria regional manager, presented the Special Constables with the award and the £5,000 further funding for their initiative.
Ian said: “We’re incredibly proud of the work these volunteer Special Constables have done in the name of road safety and we’re honoured to be able present them with this cheque and award.”