Driver is caught smoking cannabis while on the phone on the M27

SMOKING a joint of cannabis in one hand and answering a phone call in the other '“ these were the shocking actions of one reckless driver snared by police in a motorway sting.

Thursday, 25th January 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th January 2018, 7:52 am
Police question a suspect at the roadside as part of the operation targeting drivers illegally using mobile phones Picture: Habibur Rahman

The man was spotted doing about 60 miles an hour while smoking drugs along the M27 near Swanwick yesterday.

His arrest was the latest in a week-long crackdown by Hampshire police.

And now, one of the force’s top officers has branded the 43-year-old’s actions as some of the most appalling driving he has ever seen.

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Inspector Andy Tester spotted the driver. He said: ‘This is as bad as it gets.

‘Here we have someone who had a phone to their ear and was smoking a joint in the other hand which means there was no way he could be concentrating on his driving.

‘It’s the most blatant disregard for the safety of others that I’ve seen in a long time.’

The man, who lives on Hayling Island, was driving a blue Ford Focus C-Max when he was pulled over.

Speaking to The News from the side of the motorway, the driver said he was sorry.

He said: ‘It was dangerous. It’s hard to explain. It’s like this: people who are drinking can still drink something and say, “oh, I’m all right” – it’s against the law but I know you can still drive after two or three pints, albeit illegally.

‘I have driven, not that I’m proud of it, having had much more. It was illegal but I have done it in a safe way. ‘

He added: ‘I know that’s not right. I can’t justify what I have done. But it wasn’t like it was busy. Still, there’s no excuse. I’ve learnt my lesson.’

The incident was the latest as part of a nationwide crackdown on motorists using their mobiles at the wheel.

Yesterday in Fareham, police caught five people using their phones at the wheel.