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A road safety operation implemented by West Yorkshire Police has been extended for another 12 months, thanks to a £67,000 funding commitment from Leeds City Council.

West Yorkshire Police created Operation SPARC (Supporting Partnership Action to Reduce Road Casualties) in a bid to decrease the number of dangerous drivers on the road. It’s also being used to reduce road-related accidents after a surge in complaints of anti-social drivers.

Operation SPARC targets driving offences most commonly associated with road injuries. Since its initial launch in July 2020, police officers have reportedly dealt with 2,692 drivers committing a motoring offence. This statistic includes 696 seatbelt offences and 506 speeding offences, as well as a team of specialist off-road officers handling 141 motorbike/quad bike offenders.

The effectiveness of Operation SPARC earned it a nomination for an outstanding contribution to roads policing award in the West Yorkshire Police Awards 2021. With the success of the project’s first iteration, SPARC has been funded for another full year of service.

Chief Inspector Andy Loftus of West Yorkshire Police – Leeds Safer Roads Partnership, said: “This further funding allows us to continue our increased partnership focus on reducing collisions involving deaths and serious injury on our roads, which is excellent news for our communities.”

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “Our partnership with West Yorkshire Police is improving road safety across Leeds, so I’m pleased we have secured funding to continue Operation SPARC.

“The project makes our roads safer for local communities, including children and vulnerable people, by targeting dangerous and anti-social driving. Our ambition is to create a city where you don’t need a car, as set out in the Connecting Leeds transport strategy, by improving road safety to make it easier for people to walk and cycle.”

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