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Suffolk Police work with Orwell Trucks to check driving standards

Suffolk Police issued more than 200 traffic offence reports in a ten day blitz targeting lorry drivers.

After borrowing a lorry cab from local firm Orwell Trucks, officers pulled up alongside heavy goods vehicles on the A14, A12 and A11.

The force said the high angle allowed a perfect view to check if truckers and other motorists were wearing their seatbelts.

A spokesman explained: "The cab, which was driven by a police officer, provides an ideal vantage point meaning officers can look into cabs of other lorry drivers or looking down at cars or vans. A team of roads policing officers accompanied them to stop any offenders."

Sergeant Julian Ditcham (third from the left), along with officers from police units and a representative of Orwell Trucks
Sergeant Julian Ditcham (third from the left), along with officers from police units and a representative of Orwell Trucks

The effort ran from March 11-20, partly in conjunction the National Police Chiefs’ Council two week seatbelt campaign. Over the ten days £36,150 was collected in fines - and it wasn't just for those not wearing a seatbelt.

The breakdown:

During the operation the Roads and Armed Policing Team and the Road Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT) detected 313 offences.

- 225 for not wearing a seatbelt (the majority issued to HGV drivers)

- 59 for using a mobile phone

- Six for driving not being in proper control of the vehicle

- Three careless driving offences

- Three registration offences

- Two for no MOT

- Two for no secondary coupling

- Two carriage of dangerous goods offences

- One each of the following: dangerous condition; exposed tyre cord; no amber beacon; no diving licence; one PG9 prohibition; and one for tachograph offences

Sergeant Julian Ditcham, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team and who led the operation, said: "Due to the physical height of commercial vehicles, it is often difficult for patrol officers to view into the cab and thereby detect offences such as not wearing a seatbelt or using a mobile phone.

"Wearing a seatbelt can prevent many collision-related injuries and fatalities and it is compulsory for drivers to wear them, and they should ensure their passengers buckle-up too. Using a mobile phone distracts drivers and increases their chances of being involved in a serious of fatal collision."

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