Lorry driver caught on camera holding phone and credit card

Lorry driver caught on camera holding phone and credit card
Over 3,000 law-breaking drivers have been caught on film by police in the past year, thanks to the introduction of HGV supercabs.

Among them, a lorry driver was caught making a credit card payment on his mobile phone as he drove on the M40 in Warwickshire with no hands on the steering wheel.

Police will now begin a week-long deployment of the Highways England-funded vehicles on the M1 motorway, in a bid to tackle similar occurrences of dangerous driving.

READ MORE: Mobile phone driving laws – what is and isn’t illegal? | Video guide

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The fleet of three HGV cabs – which give officers an elevated position to observe and film unsafe driving – was launched last year as part of Operation Tramline.

Other footage captured in the last year includes an A38 van driver with no hands on the wheel – using one hand to change gear and the other to hold his phone.

And the driver of a pick-up truck was filmed using both hands to compose a text message as he travelled along the M60 in Greater Manchester.

Off the back of the HGV cabs, police were able to issue 462 penalty charge notices and file 2,533 traffic offence reports, which typically require someone to attend a driver education course.

There were also 73 prosecutions for more serious offences.

The most common offence detected by the footage was someone in the vehicle not wearing a seatbelt, which accounted for around a third of all incidents.

The second most common offence was a driver using a hand-held mobile phone – an offence the RAC is asking all driving to pledge against as part of its Be Phone Smart campaign.

Since March 2017, motorists caught using a hand-held phone have faced incurring six points on their licence and a £200 fine – up from the previous penalty of three points and £100.

Just last week, David Beckham received a six-month driving disqualification after a member of the public photographed him using his mobile phone while driving in West London.

READ MORE: RAC research: dangerous phone use at the wheel rockets among some age groups

illegal motorists

Highways England head of road safety Richard Leonard says the cabs have helped to identify over 3,000 unsafe drivers over the past year.

He is hopeful the week of action on the M1 will “encourage everyone to think” about what more they could do to improve how they drive.

“Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads every day and the vast majority are sensible behind the wheel, but some are putting themselves and others at risk,” he added.

Tom Cotton, the Road Haulage Association's head of licensing and infrastructure policy, said: “Operation Tramline is an invaluable initiative to help police catch the drivers putting themselves and others at risk.”

National Police Chiefs' Council lead for roads policing Chief Constable Anthony Bangham reminded drivers that 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,” he added.

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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