Watch lorry driver filmed using two phones behind wheel as police launch M25 crackdown

Police officers are using unmarked lorries on the M25 for the next two weeks to crackdown on drivers breaking the rules.

National Highways has teamed up with seven police forces across the South East to improve safety and catch drivers who are using their mobile phone at the wheel or not wearing a seatbelt.

Travelling along the M4 earlier this year an HGV driver can be seen holding two mobile phones, one to each ear, in this startling video footage.

But what he didn’t realise was the vehicle travelling alongside was an unmarked National Highways 'supercab' and there were two police officers inside.

The footage, taken along the M4, captures one of more than 21,000 offences recorded by officers in the HGV cabs since the national safety initiative was put into place by National Highways.

Watch this video report by ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw, who joined police on patrol:

As part of Operation Orbital, checks will also be carried out on vans and lorries for road worthiness, secure loads, weight, and drivers’ hours to reduce the risk of incidents along the route.

Police forces taking part in Operation Orbital:

  • Metropolitan Police

  • City of London Police

  • Hertfordshire

  • Essex

  • Kent

  • Surrey

  • Thames Valley Police

The HGV 'supercabs', funded by National Highways, allow police officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles.

Drivers are then pulled over by police cars which are following a short distance behind.

The cabs have derestricted speed limiters, which means they can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit, and have flashing lights for use in an emergency.

Colin Evans, regional road safety coordinator for National Highways in the South East, said: "Over 7,500 vehicles travel round the M25 every hour, ranging from commuters getting to work to haulage firms delivering goods along the route or overseas.

"The vast majority of drivers obey the law but a few are risking potentially devastating consequences by not carrying out appropriate checks before setting off or by driving dangerously.

"The two weeks of action will see enforcement agencies carrying out checks along the M25 to help improve safety for everyone."

Police officers use a handheld camera to capture evidence. Credit: ITV News Meridian

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: "Operation Orbital is a successful collaboration between the police and National Highways.

"We remain committed to tackling those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and the safety of others on our roads by allowing themselves to be distracted while driving.

"The consequences of these actions are often devastating. We will continue to work alongside National Highways on Operation Orbital and will take action against drivers who ignore the risks."

Police are carrying out patrols over the next two weeks. Credit: ITV News Meridian

DVSA’s Director of Enforcement, Marian Kitson, said: "DVSA’s priority is to protect people from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

"This action, alongside our partners, is to stop people cutting corners on road safety.

"Every driver or operator has a responsibility to check their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before beginning a journey.

"DVSA is here to support those operators and drivers who do comply and are safe on our roads.

"We want to ensure they are not disadvantaged by dangerous and reckless road use.

"We endeavour to support drivers and operators to remain safe, which is why we have produced guidance accessible on GOV.UK to empower commercial road users to make the M25 safe for everybody."