Police blitz nets 170 lorry drivers

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STEERING with elbows while rolling a cigarette is just one of the activities of law breaking lorry drivers on our roads, say police.

A five-day campaign which saw officers cracking down on bad HGV drivers who put other road users at risk showed 170 offences in Suffolk.

Suffolk Police’s casualty reduction team carried out the campaign last week. Officers patrolled the A14, A11 and the A12 dual- carriageways with the aim of detecting a range of offences, particularly those that cause distractions such as the use of mobiles.

During the five-day period, 120 drivers were not wearing seatbelts and received a fixed penalty of £60.

One driver found to be commiting a driving licence offence will be later reported for court.

A £60 fixed penalty notice and three points added to drivers licence were handed out to almost 25 incidents of mobile phone offences, three speeding and 11 instances where the driver was found to not be in proper control of the vehicle. In some cases, this meant the driver was steering with elbows in order to roll a cigarette or even using a PDA.

Defects such as cracked mirrors, brake defects and a cracked windscreen were also found on 10 vehicles.

Sergeant Paul Ward, from Suffolk Police’s casualty reduction team said: ‘The consequences of a driver of a large goods vehicle losing control could be catastrophic’

‘Using a mobile phone whilst driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt are three of the four main contributers to serious or fatal road traffic collisions. This, together with the summer drink drive campaign will hopefully go someway to reducing the number of casualties on Suffolk’s roads.”

Due to the succeess of the enforcement campaign, plans are under way to conduct similar over the next few months.