Specialist roads policing officers are taking part in an intensive week of action to improve road safety from today.

They have teamed up with the fire service and county council for the national campaign, organised by road safety charity BRAKE in partnership with police, road safety organisations, the Department for Transport and Highways Agency.

Police will be carrying out checks on private and commercial vehicles and extra patrols will be out on the A12 from Brentwood to the Suffolk border.

Similar operations will be held in and around Chelmsford, Colchester, Basildon, Epping Forest, Southend and on other main routes.

Officers will also be on the look-out for drink drivers, working with VOSA and the DVLA and taking part in school and community speedwatch events.

Essex County Council will be holding Crucial Crew education sessions in secondary schools.

Adam Pipe, Essex Police’s casualty reduction ranager said: "Road Safety Week is an opportunity for police, partner agencies and the public to work closely together with a common aim to reduce fatal and serious injury collisions on our roads.

"Speeding, tiredness, impatience, inexperience, recklessness and badly maintained vehicles are all factors which can lead to terrible crashes that can bring heartache to many families.

"We have various operations that are carried out throughout the year to deal with poor driving standards or dangerous vehicles but Road Safety Week brings together police, partners and our many volunteers for a week of intensive activities focusing on engagement, education and enforcement.

"We will be talking to drivers at the roadside, teaching road safety in schools and to young drivers and volunteers will be carrying out community speed watches across the county.

"We will be stopping and advising offending drivers or sending them on driver improvement scheme if they are seen speeding, driving while using mobiles or not using seat belts.

"Enforcement action will be taken for more serious offences or against drivers who persistently offend.”

Rodney Bass, county council cabinet member for highways, said: "Essex County Council is keen to work together with the police and other agencies to deliver a wide range of activities as part of our efforts to reduce the number of collisions and injuries on the road.”