Truck driver caught making card payment at the wheel on motorway

A truck driver was filmed by West Mercia Police making a card payment while he drove along the M40 in Warwickshire.

The unnamed driver, who had his phone in one hand and payment card in the other, was caught by officers in an unmarked tractor unit, which is part of Operation Tramline, a national project in collaboration with Highways England.

In the past year more than 3,500 offences have been caught on camera by officers in the three unmarked cabs. The elevated position of the cab allows police officers to film unsafe driving behaviour within passing vehicles and to deal with these offences as appropriate.

The three cabs patrol motorways and major A roads across England and have been used by 29 police forces over the past year. They have a de-restricted speed limiter, which means they can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit, and flashing lights have been installed for use by police forces in an emergency.

The most common offences caught by the cabs were not wearing a seatbelt (1,195 instances), using a mobile phone (1,062), not in proper control of vehicle (262) and speeding (118).

Police officers have issued 462 penalty charge notices and filed 2,533 traffic offence reports – usually requiring drivers to attend a driver education course. There have also been 73 prosecutions for more serious offences.

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.”

Anthony Thorpe, Highways England Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention Advisor said: “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.”

Tom Cotton, the Road Haulage Association’s head of licencing and infrastructure policy, said: “We need to improve road safety – there’s a small minority of drivers whose actions endanger other road users often with tragic consequences.

“Operation Tramline is an invaluable initiative to help police catch the drivers putting themselves and others at risk.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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