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Police launch Operation Natterjack

Police are launching an operation to improve driving and safety standards on the A66 east of Penrith to the county boundary.

The operation, codenamed Natterjack, aims to make this section of the A66 much safer by encouraging compliance with traffic laws by observation and enforcement.

Operation Natterjack focuses on motoring offences such as lack of a concentration by using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Inspector Phil Davidson, of the Operational Support Unit, said:

“It only takes a slight lapse in concentration to be involved in a serious and potentially fatal road traffic collision. We still see motorists behaving recklessly on the county’s roads using mobile devices whilst at the wheel. This behaviour produces an additional risk on a road where the risk factors are already high, leading to an increase in the number of collisions.

More precipitating factors, like a lack of concentration, leads to more collisions and it is important that through enforcement we stamp this out.

“It only takes a slight lapse in concentration to be involved in a serious and potentially fatal road traffic collision. We still see motorists behaving recklessly on the county’s roads using mobile devices whilst at the wheel. This behaviour produces an additional risk on a road where the risk factors are already high, leading to an increase in the number of collisions. More precipitating factors, like a lack of concentration, leads to more collisions and it is important that through enforcement we stamp this out."

– Inspector Phil Davidson, Operational Support Unit

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Two die in A66 road accident

A crash on the A66 Embleton has claimed 2 lives.

A 49 year old man from Wigton died when his Yamaha motorcycle collided with a Hyundai i10 car driven by a man from the Cockermouth area yesterday at 12.55pm on the A66 Embleton.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are appealing to anyone who may of seen the incident, and are also keen to speak to the driver of a Mitsubishi 4x4 which was towing a horsebox travelling towards Keswick who may have witnessed the collision.

Investigations into the incident is under way and anyone with information is asked to call Cumbria Police on 101.

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Full report: Lorry driver jailed for A66 soldiers' deaths

A lorry driver who caused the deaths of two soldiers in a crash on the A66 has been jailed for 18 months.

Private James Austin and Lance Sergeant David Gartland were on their way back to Catterick Garrison after a training exercise when they died in September 2011.

The soldiers' Land Rover crashed and was then hit by Colin Pattison's HGV near Stainmore in Cumbria.

Hannah McNulty reports.

Lorry driver jailed over soldiers' deaths

A lorry driver has been jailed for 18 months for causing the deaths of two soldiers in a crash on the A66 in Cumbria.

Colin Pattison's HGV ran into the back of an army landrover on the A66 at Stainmore two years ago.

Private James Austin and Lance Sergeant David Gartland, who were returning to Catterick Garrison following an training exercise at Warcop died at the scene.

The scene of the accident in 2011 Credit: Cumbria Police

Their landrover had already hit a broken down lorry that was spewing thick smoke across the carriageway when it was hit from behind by Colin Pattison's fully laden wagon.

He had driven blindly into the smoke at around 30 miles an hour, the prosecution say he should've slowed down more.

53-year-old Pattison, from Goole in Yorkshire, was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving but found guilty of causing death by careless driving following a trial at Carlisle Crown Court last month.

He has also been banned from driving for six years.

Young rugby player making recovery after crash

Steven Higgins is making a recovery after the crash

The family of a young rugby player who was left in a coma after a crash say he's making a slow but steady recovery.

23 year old Steven Higgins spent several weeks in intensive care following the accident on the A66 at Penruddock – five miles west of Rheged on Valentines Day.

Around £2,000 has been raised in a charity rugby match in Carlisle which will go towards a fund to help him continue to improve after he leaves hospital and for the Great North Air Ambulance.

Mr Higgins is still being treated at James Cook University Hospital where he was airlifted in February.

But his family say they hope he will be transfered to a specialist ward at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle sometime this week.

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