Police video shows HGV driver rolling cigarette while driving on M40

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An HGV driver was driver caught driving literally hands-free on the M40 motorway as he was rolling a cigarette, shows the latest footage shared by National Highways. The film was shot during the latest deployment of Operation Tramline, which has seen officers report 28,000 offences since it was first introduced.

Police video shows HGV driver rolling cigarette while driving on M40
Photo credits @ National Highways, screenshot taken 9:55am 10 June 2022

Two drivers who were literally driving ‘hands free’ had a nasty shock when they realised they’d been caught on camera by police officers patrolling in one of National Highways’ unmarked HGVs.

In new footage released on Friday, a lorry driver is seen with both of his hands in a tobacco pouch. He then rolls a cigarette as he drives along the M40 in Warwickshire before looking over to see the camera rolling in the HGV next to him.

In a second clip shared by National Highways, a van driver is seen talking on his phone and looking at his sat nav as he travels along the A500 in Stoke-on-Trent. He transfers the phone to his left hand and picks up a drink in his right hand, leaving just two fingers on the wheel. He then takes both hands completely off the wheel to put down his drink and move the phone back to his right hand.

Still chatting away on his phone, the driver remains oblivious to the fact he is being filmed as he takes the exit off the A500 – followed by police travelling behind who had been alerted by officers in the National Highways HGV cab.

 

These are the latest in over 28,000 offences which have been recorded by officers in the Operation Tramline HGV cabs since the national safety initiative was launched by National Highways to support its partners in roads policing.

The unmarked HGV cabs are now being used as part of a multi-agency Week of Action on the M6, taking place from Monday 13 June to Sunday 19 June, which aims to reduce the number of incidents on the motorway. The campaign takes place along the length of the M6, the longest motorway in the country, and so has been labelled Operation Vertebrae.

National Highways deals with almost 180 reported incidents on the M6 every day. These include a large number of traffic collisions with 3,484 reported on the M6 in 2021 – despite the impact of lockdown at the start of the year.

More than 28,100 offences have been recorded by police partners in Operation Tramline since its launch in 2015.

The most common offences are:

  • not wearing a seatbelt (8,375);
  • using a mobile phone (7,163)
  • and not being in proper control of a vehicle (2,083).

“The types of behaviour identified are typically those of a minority of motorists and whilst the number of people still using their mobile phone at the wheel or not wearing a seatbelt is disappointing, thanks to the Tramline HGVs we’ve been able to stop people who could have caused serious harm on the road,” said National Highways Head of Road Safety Jeremy Phillips.

From their elevated viewpoint in the unmarked HGV cabs, police officers are able to spot people driving dangerously – whatever vehicle they may be in. Consequences for drivers range from warnings to fixed penalty notices, court summons or arrest.

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