People caught watching films on phones and tablets while driving on M4 in Wiltshire

Police patrolled the M4 in an unmarked lorry for three days Credit: PA Wire

Police have caught people watching films on their phones or tablets while driving along the M4 motorway.

Officers spotted more than 80 offences taking place while driving in an unmarked lorry for three days between junctions 14 and 18 in Wiltshire.

It was part of ‘Operation Tramline’ where Wiltshire Police were working with National Highways and National Roads Policing Operations and Intelligence (NRPOI).

PC Luke Hobbs said: “The HGV gives us an elevated view into vehicles using this busy stretch of road so we can better detect offences such as mobile phone use.

"Whilst the majority are law abiding drivers, it is always shocking to see just what some of these drivers think they can get away with, all whilst in control of a vehicle which can be up to 44 tonnes in weight with the potential to cause significant and serious harm to others.

“Last week alone, we saw drivers watching films on their phones or tablets whilst behind the wheel, overloaded vehicles which can pose a real danger to other road users, and drivers showing a complete disregard for the speed limit.”

In total, 83 people were stopped - mainly for using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt.

Acting Inspector Will Ayres of the Roads Policing Unit said: “This operation coincided with a trial of new Artificial Intelligence cameras, being rolled out by National Highways to spot drivers failing to wear seatbelts or using mobile phones.

"It is hoped the presence of these cameras will help enhance the work of our Roads Policing Unit and further reduce the number of individuals taking risks when driving and causing serious collisions.

"We are committed to trialling new innovative projects to keep the roads safe and make the road users of Wiltshire feel safer."