DRIVERS so often feel invincible when they’re behind the wheel of a car.

Taking a risk might feel so easy if there’s not a police car in sight. No one’s going to catch you if there’s not a police officer there to pull you over, right?

Well, maybe in years gone by. But now, a dreaded notice of intended prosecution could land on your doormat when you least expect it.

Gone are the days of patrolling police officers being the only way to catch out bad driving. There are always “extra eyes” on us.

Dunmow Broadcast: Careless - a van driver was fined after driving through a flooded road at speedCareless - a van driver was fined after driving through a flooded road at speed (Image: Safer Essex Roads Partnership)

Run by the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, Extra Eyes is a community-led initiative, designed to allow road users the opportunity to report careless and dangerous road use by uploading video footage.

The initiative is part of Vision Zero, a wider programme launched by the partnership, a collaboration between several bodies like the emergency services and the county council, to drive death and serious injuries on Essex’s roads down to zero by 2040.

Led by partnership manager Will Cubbin, a dedicated team reviews up to 300 videos submitted by members of the public every month.

“In the last 12 months, there has been just over 2,000 cases where somebody’s been driving in a careless or dangerous way and if it wasn’t for Extra Eyes they wouldn’t have had any feedback on their driving,” he explains.

“That’s a lot of drivers who have been offered driver improvement courses or given points or a fine and have been able to reflect on their driving before they cause a crash.”

Dunmow Broadcast: Close shave - this footage of a car passing a cyclist very closely led to a prosecutionClose shave - this footage of a car passing a cyclist very closely led to a prosecution (Image: Safer Essex Roads Partnership)

The partnership publishes many videos it has received which have led to prosecution on its YouTube channel, and Mr Cubbin says a police investigator decides the appropriate penalty in every case depending on the severity of the incident.

He recalls watching a video filmed in Manningtree where a cyclist manoeuvred to pass a line of parked cars and was met with a van travelling towards them at a very high speed as a car drove past them.

He says: “There was a very small amount of space between the van, the parked cars, and the oncoming car and the cyclist nearly got squashed. The speed was shocking as was the lack of margin for error.”

What has Extra Eyes achieved in the past year?

THOUSANDS of drivers were prosecuted in the past year thanks to the Extra Eyes initiative.

Figures provided by the Safer Essex Roads Partnership reveal in the past 12 months, 2,093 notices of intended prosecution and 172 advice letters were sent out for a range of driving offences, including close passes, mobile phone use, and speeding.

But Mr Cubbin says the aim “isn’t to catch people” and has urged drivers to consider if they could defend their driving if they were to end up in court.

“We want people to be thinking about Extra Eyes and how there was over 2,000 people in one year who thought they were going to get away with unacceptable driving and were held to account,” he says.

“Lots of people have a dashcam, lots of cyclists and horse riders have cameras fitted, and pedestrians with mobile phones have also submitted footage which has led to prosecutions.

“More and more people are becoming aware using Extra Eyes is an option if they have a dashcam or a camera on their bike which picks up something that concerns them.”

To find out more about Extra Eyes, visit