Police use lorry to catch irresponsible truck drivers

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Police using an unmarked lorry have given out £12,000 worth of fixed penalties to lorry drivers caught breaking the rules this week.

Two hundred offences were recorded during a week-long operation to crackdown on lorry drivers who break the law and put other road users at risk.

The operation ran from Monday to Friday, with the Suffolk Police Roads Policing Unit teaming up with colleagues from Norfolk and Essex to patrol dual carriageway roads in the counties using an unmarked lorry.

The aim was to record traffic offences including using a hand held mobile phone, watching television and laptop screens, eating, drinking, steering with knees and reading a map, book or newspaper whilst driving.

An officer in the police truck’s passenger seat took video evidence before the offending vehicle was pulled over by police car or motorcycle.

Of 200 offences recorded, 128 drivers were without seatbelts, 35 were using a mobile phone, eight drivers were ‘not in proper control of their vehicle’ and two vehicles were seized for having no insurance

A further 26 drivers had committed various offences to which on the spot fines did not apply and one driver was arrested for having a fraudulent driving licence.

Sgt Paul Ward of Suffolk’s Casualty Reduction Team said: “The consequences of a driver not having full control of their vehicle, being distracted, or not wearing a seatbelt can have devastating results.

“This was a very successful operation with a number of drivers dealt with for a range of offences. However, the figures do reflect the fact that a disappointing amount of people have the wrong attitudes when they are behind the wheel of a heavy goods vehicle.”