Police in Suffolk stopped almost 300 vehicles and detected over 350 offences, after targeting drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) as part of an operation supported by Highways England.
Operation Tramline saw police provided with an HGV tractor unit by Highways England, which allowed officers to carry out patrols across the strategic road network in both counties and focus on offences committed by lorry drivers.
The initiative took place last week, between Sunday 25 April and Friday 30 April and involved officers from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, with enforcement taking place on the A14, A11 and A12..
The HGV tractor unit, 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. Supporting officers would then be on hand to stop any offenders.
A total of 297 vehicles were stopped, including 148 HGVs and 114 smaller goods vehicles and 35 private vehicles.
356 offences were detected and the drivers in question were issued with Traffic Offence Reports (TORs), some having committed more than once offence.
Nearly 300 TORs were issued, including the following offences amongst others:
– 142 for not wearing a seatbelt
– 31 for construction and use
– 15 for using a mobile phone
– 57 for an insecure load
– 21 for not being in proper control of the vehicle
– 14 for driving without due care and attention for excess speed
– 5 for excess speed
PC Wayne Sturman of the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “This was another very productive week of action and once again demonstrates the value of such operations. but it remains extremely frustrating to see the amount of drivers who feel they can flout the law.”
“We are very grateful for the support of Highways England in providing us with the HGV tractor unit free of charge.
“The HGV cab provides officers with an ideal vantage point to spot drivers committing offences and provides us with another means to enforce the law with this specific group of road users, who due to the size of the vehicles they are in control of, pose an added risk to other motorists and also themselves if they are committing offences whilst driving.
“Our work will continue in Suffolk and Norfolk to educate lorry drivers through proactive enforcement of traffic laws, pre-planned operations and routine patrols.
Anthony Thorpe, Highways England Incident Prevention Project Manager said:”The HGV cab project, which is funded by Highways England, patrols motorways and major A roads with the aim of improving road safety. It provides an ideal viewing platform for police officers to identify dangerous driving behaviour that can be difficult to spot from standard police patrol vehicles – for example texting while driving. Highways England is committed to working collaboratively with our partners to improve road safety and we will continue to use the HGV cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive.”