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Unmarked HGV spies texting drivers

By Kyle Lindsay
Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 16:00

Comments (4)

Under the pilot scheme 462 offences were detected

Motorists who text, phone or drive dangerously face the prospect of being caught by police using an unmarked lorry, it has been revealed.

According to an article in the Daily Mail, it is expected that the unmarked HGV will be deployed on major motorways and A-roads throughout the UK from this spring in oder to root out dangerous and unsafe driving.

The news follows a three-month trial, codenamed Operation Tramline, which ran last year in Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Thames Valley and Warwickshire. Under the pilot scheme 462 offences were detected, the majority of offences were for mobile phone and seat belt abuses.

The Operation Tramline team was made up of a HGV unit and was supported by two police motorcyclists and a marked police car which stopped and dealt with drivers.

Now it has emerged that the scheme will be rolled out nationwide from March 30, in partnership with the Highways Agency.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: “Doing what we can to reduce incidents on our network not only improves safety, it reduces congestion and provides more reliable journeys for the four million drivers that use England’s motorways and trunk roads each day.”

Motorists caught during the trial included a driver who was using FaceTime while driving in slow-moving traffic, a HGV driver who said he had not worn a seatbelt for 20 years, and another lorry driver seen drinking from a beer can.

What are your thoughts on the scheme? Is it another case of Big Brother watching you? Let us know in the comments below.

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The comments are closed.

  • Bryan L says...February 24, 2015 (13:51)

    As an HGV driver I have seen many stupid things while I’ve been driving and looking down into cars and vans. I’ve seen people texting, reading, writing, putting on make up and one women even breast feeding a baby while driving. I’ve also seen other HGV drivers watching films on lap tops, reading papers and eating meals. Anything which improves the safety of our roads for me, my family and other road users will always be welcome. The laws are there and should be enforced; hopefully slightly more than the smoking in a workplace law which is completely ignored by most.

  • Res Ipsa. Loquitor says...February 24, 2015 (12:46)

    An excellent initiative. I would like to see these matters dealt with at a much higher level than a mere fixed penalty. Certainly commercial vehicles use with a phone should be dealt with by the courts at the higher end of the penalties available. Bluetooth is now so cheap – under a tenner – that there really can’t be an excuse for calls. As to texting, don’t get me started.

  • Ian Crowder - The AA says...February 24, 2015 (11:56)

    Given that those who text / use hand-held mobile phones are four times more likely to crash, then this is an initiative to be welcomed. AA Insurance supports the move – pointing out that those caught for a CU80 (mobile phone) offence are likely to find a sharp increase in their premiums while many insurers will decline to offer cover to offenders. Message is simple – put it on silent, let calls go to voice mail. Stop and switch off engine if you must make or take a call. If you are calling someone who is obviously driving then call off and ring back later. The consequences of continuing the call could be terrible. And you would have that on your conscience for ever….

  • Daniel Kavanagh says...February 13, 2015 (14:38)

    Well done to the UK Police, I do not see this as ‘big brother’ watching me I see it as ‘big brother’ watching over me … this new system will flush out the drivers who drive as if they are above the law & it will make for safer roads for the rest of us.

    If it saves lives…. bring it on