Police will begin stopping cars to check where people are going from today (Thursday, 26 March).
North Yorkshire Police will deploy vehicle checkpoints from 26 March to ensure motorists are complying with government restrictions and only making essential journeys.
The checkpoints will be unannounced and could appear anywhere any time.
Under the new restrictions people must stay at home and only go out for basic necessities, a medical need, to care for or help a vulnerable person, or travel to work but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These measures are backed up by legislation allowing the police to fine people and disperse of groups of people who do not comply.
Officers will be stopping vehicles and asking motorists where they are going, why they are going there, and reminding them of the message to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
‘We will enforce this’
Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker, said: “The message is clear and the warning stark. Stay at home, save lives.
“These are the lives of the people we know and love. Our partners, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents.
“You may never be in such a position again where your simple actions will lead directly to saving lives.”
Alongside the new restrictions, the Government announced new powers to enforce them. I know the vast majority of people will follow the restrictions without question, as they have done so already.
And as the legislation comes into force, the roadside checks will help us to reinforce the messaging.
So we ask people not to make non-essential journeys, and to understand the definition of essential. We sincerely hope that we won’t have to resort to enforcement action, but if people do not comply, we will.
Foot patrols are also being stepped up to disperse groups, enforce the social distancing measures and “remind people of the seriousness of the situation we are facing”.
“Please continue to look after each other, try and make the most of this unprecedented opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones, and remember we are here for you if you need us.”
Some dos and don’ts from North Yorkshire Police
- Do not travel to local beauty spots to exercise, do it from home alone or with a member of your household
- Do not go out “just for a drive”
- Do not meet up with others including family and friends.