A lorry driver has been filmed holding two mobile phones – one to each ear – while driving along a motorway in England.
Footage captured by Avon and Somerset Police officers in an unmarked vehicle showed the HGV driver ploughing along the inside lane at speed with neither of his hands on the wheel.
The driver did not appear to realise that the vehicle travelling alongside was an unmarked National Highways “HGV cab” carrying two police officers, one of whom was filming him.
The clip filmed in Gloucestershire earlier this year is one of some 21,600 offences recorded by police in such vehicles since National Highways launched its Operation Tramline initiative in 2015, which sees officers use unmarked HGVs to spot illegal behaviour in vehicles of all types.
Since the operation was launched, officers have reported catching more than 6,000 drivers using their mobile phones, 6,250 people not wearing a seatbelt, 1,500 not in proper control of their vehicle, and nearly 1,200 people speeding.
Among these, National Highways said, were a driver steering a lorry with his knees while eating lunch on his lap and using a phone, a driver eating lasagne with a knife and fork while driving along a motorway, and an HGV driver boiling a kettle on the dashboard.
Nicholas Reed, National Highways’ road safety lead for the South West, said: “The HGV cabs are an important part of our commitment to tackling unsafe driving and those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and that of others on the road.
“The number of people found using their mobile phone while driving is quite alarming. You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone and, if caught, face a £200 fine and six points on your licence.
HGV cabs are now being used as part of a multi-agency fortnight of action along the M4 and M5, taking place from Monday 13 September to Sunday 26 September, which aims to reduce the number of incidents on the motorways and highlight the risks of dangerous driving.
Mr Reed added: “Through this fortnight of action on the M5 and M4 we want to make all of our roads safer by raising awareness and encouraging motorists to consider their driving behaviour.”
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