A SENIOR police traffic officer has slammed the driving standards of road users in Thurrock following a spate of accidents just before Christmas.

Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager at Essex Police, said there are “exceptional levels” of offending on the borough’s roads and added drivers fail to adapt to adverse weather conditions.

From December 10 to December 19, there were five serious crashes on the A13 and M25 that caused chaos.

On Saturday, December 15, there was a fatal accident on the A1089 slip road. On December 17, two lorries collided between junction 30 and 31 of the M25.

The road was closed for more than eight hours and on December 19, a 35-year-old man from Kent was arrested and the Dartford Tunnel closed for four hours after a five vehicle pile-up at the exit to the tunnels. There was also another accident on the A13 that same morning.

The crashes led some on Twitter to blame the layout of the roads, but Mr Pipe said that isn’t to blame.

He said: “It’s not the roads that are at fault. A lot of drivers in Thurrock are failing to judge the weather conditions.

“There is a lack of awareness, care and attention.”

Mr Pipe pointed to an operation in November where police stopped 322 vehicles over an eight-hour period in Thurrock. They detected more than 150 traffic offences.

Mr Pipe said: “These are exceptional levels of offending, higher than anywhere else in the county. What we really want to urge is that people respect the conditions.

“We don’t want to generalise, but any collision causes disruption of life in the area.

“People need to take more care and allow more time to complete their journeys.”

Sabina Chan, a driving instructor for Driving-Essex, trains drivers on Thurrock’s roads every day.

She said: “People always seem to be in a rush and impatient. There is a really bad attitude on the road.

“Driving standards in the borough aren’t great.

“I don’t think it’s road layout, but the weather can be a contributing factor and I don’t think drivers are adapting.

“People don’t think about the implications of their driving or other people’s lives. They’re in a potential killing machine.”