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Shropshire HGV patrol catches out lorry drivers

By Rob Smith | Crime | Published:

Police have been patrolling Shropshire's roads in special HGVs to spot drivers acting dangerously, and have already caught out lorry drivers texting and even watching films.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, second from right

West Mercia Police and Highways England have teamed up as part of the national Operation Tramline, aimed at changing driver behaviour.

Since they took to the road a year ago, three Highways England-funded white HGV cabs have clocked more than 3,500 driving offences across the country.

West Mercia Police has been booking the cabs out to patrol the roads in the region and catch out dangerous drivers. The elevated cab allows police officers to film unsafe behaviour in passing vehicles.

Inspector Gavin Williams of West Mercia Police said: "It's concerning that there are still motorists using our road network that are willing to risk their own and others' safety by concentrating on things other than driving.

"During this operation we have witnessed drivers of heavy goods vehicles texting, watching films and using social media sites.

"There are education campaigns that highlight various road safety issues, such as seatbelt use and using a mobile phone, so there is no excuse for people not to know what the law states or the penalties they can receive when they are caught.

"This operation is a great demonstration of joint partnership working with Highways England where the ultimate aim is to improve road safety for all and reduce the amount of people that are killed or seriously injured on our roads."

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The region's police and crime commissioner, John Campion, said: "I welcome this innovative operation and partnership approach to changing the behaviours of drivers.

"It's great to have the support of Highways England as we look to tackle the problem of people driving dangerously and without care on our roads.

"I had the privilege of seeing it first-hand and I was incredibly impressed with the HGV cab and the officers involved.

"I hope to see this operation change the behaviour of drivers and ultimately reduce the number of people committing offences and putting lives at risk on our roads."

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Anthony Thorpe of Highways England said: "The HGV cab project, which is funded by Highways England, has been patrolling motorways and major A roads over the past couple of years with the aim of improving road safety.

"It provides an ideal viewing platform for police officers to identify dangerous driving behaviour that can be difficult to spot from standard police patrol vehicles – for example driving without wearing a seatbelt.

"Highways England is committed to working collaboratively with our partners in the police to improve road safety and we will continue to use the HGV cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank West Mercia Police for their continued support of the project."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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