Lorry driver caught sipping tea with both hands while driving on M62

A lorry driver taking both hands off the wheel to sip a cup of tea is among those who have been caught by unmarked HGVs prowling motorways for disobedient drivers.

After a telling off from police officers following the incident in 2022, the driver had three points added to his licence and received a £100 fine.

After a successful launch the "supercabs", run by National Highways, are returning to the roads in another bid to catch drivers disobeying the rules.

The unmarked HGV vehicles are being deployed between Merseyside and Hull, and will be driven by police officers from Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and the Liverpool Ports police.

The cabs will be returning to the M62 for all of October 2023 for "Operation Pennine."

Normally, officers are unable to see into HGV cabs as they drive past, but using National Highways' supercabs they are able to catch drivers off guard.

A HGV driver was also caught on his phone, and given a £100 fine. Credit: National Highways

National Highways' Regional Manager for the North West Lisa Scott said: "Some drivers are putting themselves and others at risk through using mobile phones, driving without a seatbelt or even handling a boiling hot drink at the wheel."

The Government-owned company has committed to reducing the amount of people injured or killed on the road by 50% nationally by 2025.

Lisa said: "Those who continue to pose a risk should be aware that we are working with our police partners to make sure they are spotted and prevented from causing serious harm to themselves or others."

Merseyside Police also stressed how important plans like Operation Pennine are for keeping roads safe.

Sergeant Garreth Berry said: "These offences are a major contributory factor in killed or serious injuries on our roads."

As well as operating unmarked vehicles, National Highways will be working with Tyresafe to offer tyre and vehicle checks at service stations along the M62.

TyreSafe Chair Stuart Lovatt said: "Many are guilty of taking their safety on the roads for granted and... TyreSafe is all too aware that includes pre-journey tyre checks.

"We encourage all road users to ACT - check Air pressure, Condition, and Tread depth."

Want more on the issues affecting the North? Our podcast, From the North answers the questions that matter to our region.