Watch the moment an HGV, with the driver on the phone, swerves into the path of motorways police
This frightening footage was shot by police officers in an HGV cab, used by Highways England to spot drivers committing motoring offences.
Now officers will be using the unmarked HGV cabs to patrol the M6 through the region, using the high-level position of a truckie to capture law-breaking on camera.
More than 21,000 offences have been recorded by officers in the Operation Tramline HGV cabs since the national safety initiative was launched by Highways England in 2015.
The Highways England HGV cabs are now being used as part of a multi-agency Week of Action on the M6, taking place from Monday, May 24 to Sunday, May 30, which aims to reduce the number of incidents on the motorway and highlight the risks of dangerous driving.
Under the banner of Operation Vertebrae, the campaign takes place along the length of the M6, the longest motorway in the country.
Highways England Head of Road Safety, Jeremy Phillips, said: “The Operation Tramline cabs are an important part of our commitment to tackling dangerous driving and those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and that of others on the road.
“The number of people found using their mobile phone while driving is quite alarming. You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone and, if caught, face a £200 fine and six points on your licence.
“Through this week of action on the M6 we want to make all of our roads safer by raising awareness and encouraging motorists to consider their driving behaviour.”
From their elevated viewpoint in the unmarked HGV cabs, police officers are able to spot people driving dangerously – whatever vehicle they may be in.
Among the incidents witnessed during Operation Tramline was a driver steering a lorry with his knees while eating lunch on his lap and also using his phone in the East Midlands. While in West Mercia, officers saw a driver eating lasagne with a knife and fork while driving along a motorway.
In addition to the supercab patrols, partners taking part in the M6 week of action will be present at motorway services offering advice to drivers such as what to do in a breakdown and ensuring load safety.
Vehicle checks will also be carried out involving the DVSA, Health and Safety Executive and the Home Office.
Six forces are taking part in Operation Vertebrae – Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Warwickshire Police and Central Motorway Police Group, as well as the North West Commercial Vehicle Unit.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, said: “Operation Tramline is a successful collaboration between the police and Highways England.
“We remain committed to tackling those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and the safety of others on our roads by allowing themselves to be distracted while driving. The consequences of these actions are often devastating.
“We will continue to work alongside Highways England on Operation Tramline and will prosecute drivers who ignore the risks.”