Police in HGV cabs catch over 300 offenders on Midlands motorway

Police patrolling the motorway in Derbyshire spotted this unsecured load, with loose dining chairs on the back. Credit: Derbyshire Police

Over 300 offences were spotted in just one week by police officers patrolling in unmarked HGV cabs in the Midlands.

Eight police forces patrolled the M1 between Leeds and London, through the Midlands, in unmarked National Highways HGVs on the look-out for unsafe driving, as part of Operation Tramline.

In the Midlands, there were 309 offences recorded including 108 people not wearing their seatbelt, 62 using their mobile phone and 27 driving without due care.

Police in Derbyshire spotted a number of insecure loads during the week of action, including a vehicle which was seen travelling along the motorway with dining chairs on the back.

Police in Northamptonshire pulled over this pickup truck and trailer with loose hay bales, heading for the M1. Credit: Northamptonshire Police

In Northamptonshire, police pulled over this pickup truck and trailer with unsecured hay bales, which was heading for the motorway.

Another driver in Northamptonshire who was stopped due to the front side windows being heavily tinted and when tested they only allowed 11% of light through.

The driver did admit to officers: ‘I sometimes have to wind the window down to see at night’. He was reported for having a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Police patrolled the M1 in unmarked National Highways HGV cabs, giving them a vantage point. Credit: National Highways

Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire police forces took part in the week-long action targeting unsafe driving on motorways.

On the entire route between Leeds and London, police stopped a total of 663 vehicles and uncovered 691 offences on the entire route.

The most common offence was not wearing a seatbelt with 239 people caught without their belt on.

This was followed by 181 people spotted using a mobile phone at the wheel then 44 drivers not in proper control of their vehicle and 43 driving without due care and attention.

Penalties ranged from words of advice and traffic offence reports to 14 court summons and even five arrests.

PC Dave Shaw, of the Derbyshire Police Roads Policing Unit, said:

“Using a HGV cab is a really useful tactic to help spot drivers who are putting other road users at risk and it’s still very disappointing to see so many drivers ignoring the law and choosing to commit offences on the roads. 

“One driver who was stopped using his phone was concerned he would now lose his licence- but the message is clear- do not use your phone whilst driving. Motorists should also know that they must wear a seatbelt, not to drink or drug drive and to drive within the speed limits.

“I would also remind people to be patient on the roads, allow enough time to make a safe journey and to concentrate on what you are doing and where you are going. Ultimately it is about taking care of yourself, your passengers and other road users.

“This operation shows how we continue to work in partnership with National Highways and other police forces to help improve road safety for all. We will be continuing to patrol the road network in Derbyshire and any driver found to be committing offences can expect to be given the appropriate penalty.”