ALMOST £10,000 in fines were handed out to motorists during a two-day police operation in Basildon .

Officers running Operation Sheltered Path say they were disappointed to find so many drivers breaking the law.

They carried out the checks in London Road, Vange and found: l One stolen vehicle. A man was arrested.

* Four motorists speeding.

* Two drivers without a licence.

* Eight motorists with illegal modifications, such as loud exhausts and tinted windows.

* Eight drivers who did not have insurance. Four received a £200 fine and six penalty points and four cars were seized.

* 25 drivers using mobile phones while driving. They were fined £60.

* 37 motorists not wearing a seatbelt.

* 42 drivers without an MoT certificate.

Sgt Simon Willshire, of Essex Police ’s casualty reduction unit, said: “It is disappointing to see so many drivers flouting laws designed to keep everyone using our roads safe.

“Finding 46 vehicles without an MoT is especially worrying, because these could have a dangerous fault and be a serious accident waiting to happen.

“One driver stopped without an MoT which expired four months earlier, replied: ‘I know. I can’t afford it.’ This attitude is unacceptable. We will continue to work across the area to ensure our roads are as safe as possible.”

Although the ongoing operation Sheltered Path concentrates predominantly on road safety, officers also arrested one man after their tracking system spotted a stolen vehicle from the London area.

Sgt Willshire warned that issues such as loud exhausts, overweight vehicles and tyres with dangerously worn tread were also being taken seriously.

One current trend officers pledged to crack down on was the use of overly-tinted windows.

Eight motorists were slapped with a fine, while others got off with a warning to remove the modification.

Sgt Willshire said: “It is basically like driving around with your sunglasses on.

“That is fine in the summer, but it is dangerous in the winter and at night as drivers don’t have a clear view.”