Man stopped by police for using FaceTime video chat while driving

The driver was stopped as part of Surrey Police's Operation Tramline

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The Independent Online

Police running an operation aimed at combating inappropriate driving in Surrey have revealed they stopped one motorist who was using the video chat app FaceTime while driving.

The unnamed driver was stopped as part of Surrey Police's Operation Tramline a three-month pilot project which ran between February and April. He was using a tablet on his lap while driving.

The incident was just one of a number of bizarre encounters police had during the operation. Officers used an unmarked HGV tractor to target lorry drivers breaking the law.

Other anecdotal cases of interest included a HGV driver who admitted he had not worn his seat belt for 20 years, a transit van driver reading the Sun newspaper, a dutch lorry driver who had knife and another HGV driver who was drinking from a beer can while driving.

Officers also spotted one lorry driver who was texting while he drove with one foot on the dashboard.

Insp Richard Mallett, of the Surrey Roads Policing Unit told the BBC that most of the people officers stopped were lorry drivers, but some car drivers were also caught 'driving appallingly'.

"The person FaceTiming was actually a car driver, but because we were higher up, we could see down into the car," he said.

The operation stopped 436 vehicles in the three months, 270 of them were commercial vehicles.

The Dutch lorry driver who was stopped by police and was in possession of a knife was told it was a big knife for the UK and his response was "in Holland that is little knife" - it was about six inch blade which locked.

PC Chris Schultze from Surrey Police's Roads Policing Unit, said: "Operation Tramline has been a massive success, we have seen from the results that drivers continue to put themselves and others at risk by driving whilst distracted, driving anti-socially or simply by not wearing their seat belt.

"We have seen a rise in the compliance of drivers thanks to the hard work of officers across the south east targeting and combating this behaviour through education and enforcement.

"Working in partnership with the Highways Agency and with the support of MAN Trucks provided us with an innovative opportunity to keep people safe, and relentlessly target those that continue to put innocent people in danger."