OVER 300 offences were detected as Warwickshire Police patrolled Warwickshire motorways in an HGV ‘supercab’.
Officers used the Highways England owned supercab, elevated to allow them to see into vehicles, to look for drivers putting themselves or other road users at risk.
Nearly 70 offences were recorded including drivers using their phones. One man was so distracted by his mobile he did not notice the blue lights and sirens. He was also not wearing a seatbelt and the load he was carrying was not properly secured.
Another was believed to be using Whatsapp as he drifted towards the hard shoulder.
And one man appeared to be carrying out work on an ipad while another was believed to be watching a video.
They also stopped an HGV loaded with over 30 tons of bricks with nothing holding them on to the lorry.
The team also stopped numerous overweight vehicles and Special Constables and OPU officers used mobile weigh plates to check the weight of vehicles at the roadside including one which was overweight by more than half. It took the driver nearly four hours to unload the vehicle after another attempt showed it was still overweight.
The top offence however, was not wearing a seatbelt, committed by nearly 100 drivers.
Statistics have shown those not wearing seatbelts are twice as likely to die in a crash compared to those wearing one. It also keeps those in the front positioned correctly for the maximum effectiveness of the airbag and prevents them from being ejected from the vehicle in a crash or if it rolls.
The Commercial Vehicle Unit was also able to target criminals using the roads. One vehicle was found to be laden with counterfeit cigarettes. The vehicle and goods were seized by HMRC. The driver also had no insurance and no licence.
Sergeant Carl Stafford said: “Whilst this has been a record breaking operation for offences detected by our officers, it has also been an extremely disappointing one, as even with a reduced amount of traffic from the current epidemic we are seeing an increase in offences. The increase in mobile phone usage whilst driving has been staggering despite all of the publicity and increase in penalties people are still selfishly putting themselves and others at risk by being distracted by their phones, exacerbated even more when in charge of heavy goods vehicles. Warwickshire Police is taking a zero tolerance approach when dealing with this offence and all drivers of HGVs will be reported to court and the traffic commissioner.
“We also found that most of the drivers stopped with no seatbelt on actually made a conscious effort to fasten it behind them, I can’t comprehend the mentality of not using this non-intrusive device which is proven to save lives.”
Click here to watch a clip of the operation.