After a recent and worrying increase in incidents involving objects, in particular bricks, being thrown at vehicles travelling on the motorway in Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has released a warning to those who may be thinking of taking part in such dangerous and irresponsible behaviour.
Last year, a series of these incidents on the M60 involving young people, resulted in damage to the windscreens of a number of vehicles, and in one instance the windscreen of a car was smashed as a woman was driving across the motorway, forcing her to stop on the hard shoulder.
Superintendent Julie Ellison, of GMP’s Specialist Operation Teams, said: “It goes without saying that behaviour such as this is reckless and puts multiple lives in unnecessary danger. Not only can it cause serious damage to vehicles, but even more worryingly, it can result in serious injury to those travelling in the vehicle and potentially cause a devastating collision.
“We already have officers patrolling known locations, who will not hesitate to take action against perpetrators, to ensure that those travelling can do so safely, so I would encourage young people to think about the consequences of a spilt second silly decision or an attempt to show off, that it can have serious consequences for them and others.
“In addition to this, I would also like to appeal to parents. As we move into warmer weather and school holidays approach, I ask that you check what your children are up to, and where they are going, as well as speak with them about the importance of making safe and responsible decisions.”
Alan Shepherd, Regional Director for National Highways in the North West, said: “When the evenings get lighter we do get an increase of incidents involving children and teenagers playing near motorways and on motorway bridges. Staff at our regional operations centre near Warrington work closely with the North West Motorway Police Group to monitor our motorways around the clock with an extensive network of CCTV cameras recording at locations all the time.
“If the threat of prosecution is not warning enough, we would ask parents to have a conversation with youngsters about the potentially tragic consequences of stone throwing and of playing near the motorway generally.”