Police drive lorries to catch drivers using mobile phones

The police have been driving lorries to catch drivers not wearing seatbelts and using mobile phones.

Operation Tramline, a joint initiative between West Mercia Police and Highways England, took place for a week and was aimed at changing driver behaviour and increasing road safety.

It involved officers driving unmarked HGVs to give them a clear view of all road users, including drivers of large vehicles.

A plain white HGV tractor unit loaned to West Mercia Police by Highways England was used throughout the week, giving an elevated position allowing police officers to film risky behaviour such as mobile phone and seatbelt use within passing vehicles and to deal with these offences as appropriate.

The operation took place on the M5, M42 and M50 to crack down on offenders who continue to break the law and to help decrease the number of people killed or seriously injured on the Highways England road network.

During the week-long operation 85 offences were detected on the motorway, such as non-seatbelt use, mobile phone use, construction related use and driving without due care.

Superintendent Gareth Morgan said: “During this operation officers have witnessed a number of drivers not wearing seatbelts and using their phones behind the wheel.

"There have been various education campaigns highlighting these particular issues so there really 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."

Highways England assistant regional safety coordinator, Marie Biddulph, added: “We know that the majority of drivers who use our roads everyday are sensible and safe behind the wheel but it is disappointing to see how many people are still putting themselves and others at risk by simply ignoring the law.

"Operation Tramline could not operate without our police partners and we are very grateful to West Mercia Police for helping us to tackle such dangerous driving on our roads.

"We hope that through our continuing partnership and use of the supercabs we can encourage all motorists to think about their driving behaviour.”

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