HGV-POWERED police have been clamping down on law-breaking drivers on Warwickshire’s motorways.
Warwickshire Police’s new Commercial Vehicle Unit (CVU) detected 136 offences in five days of the ongoing Operation Tramline. During the operation, the CVU used a specially-adapted HGV ‘supercab’ owned by Highways England to observe driver behaviours in all vehicles and deal with any offences.
Insp Mick Huntley said “The operation is about keeping people safe on our roads and officers are looking for people that could pose serious danger to themselves and other road users.
“The ‘supercab’ is invaluable because it allows officers to see all road users from an elevated position, giving a much clearer view of what drivers are doing.
“For example, if a driver is using a mobile phone or not wearing their seatbelt. The ‘supercab’ allows our officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles. Anyone we need to speak to is then pulled over by police cars following behind.”
Over the five days, the CVU stopped various vehicles on the M6, M40, M42, M69 and A46 in Warwickshire. Of the 136 offences, 15 were stopped for using a mobile phone at the wheel (a potential six points on their licence and a £200 fine) and a further 54 drivers were not wearing seatbelts (up to a £500 fine).
A child was also found unrestrained in one vehicle driving at high speed on the motorway that should have had a child car seat fitted (up to a £500 fine).
The CVU also stopped drivers for careless driving, speeding, and driving too closely to the vehicle in front.
Three vehicles were stopped, five for having no insurance, and ne driver had no licence. In all cases the vehicles were seized.
As a result of the driver checks one person was also arrested for being wanted on warrant.
The CVU also focused on the many commercial vehicles using the region’s roads.
Eleven vehicles were found to have insecure loads, while ten HGVs were asked to move from the hard shoulder of the motorway where they had parked near to a service station to avoid parking fees at the actual services.
Foreign vehicles pay a levy to use the UK’s roads and of five HGV levy checks one was issued with a Roadside Deposit Notice as the levy had not been paid.
After checking the same vehicle’s tachograph, it was discovered the driver had interfered with his tachograph to falsify driver hours and received a £500 on the spot fine. The vehicle was also immobilised and the driver enforced to take a nine hour break.
Due to the seriousness of the offence, the driver and company were referred to the traffic commissioner who is responsible for licensing and regulating operators of HGVs, and can also take action against drivers including suspending or revoking a driver’s licence.
Since last 2019 Operation Tramline has detected around 600 offences on Warwickshire’s road network.