Drivers caught in lorry undercover operation

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  • Drivers eating pasta, cutting fruit and reading were stopped
  • Police used lorry to give vantage point on major roads
  • Sergeant said people were checking calendars and appointments on phones while driving
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NEARLY 200 drivers were caught in an undercover operation – including people eating pasta, cutting fruit and reading.

A specially-trained officer was driving a HGV Scania lorry cab while an observer looked out for offences on Hampshire’s busiest roads.

The five-day operation netted 197 drivers, with police motorbike riders intercepting offending vehicles.

Of those, 109 drivers were dealt with for mobile phone offences and 62 for seatbelt offences.

Sergeant Paul Diamond, from Hampshire Constabulary’s commercial vehicle unit, said: ‘Operation Tramline enabled us to detect offences we would otherwise be unable to prosecute.

‘In particular, drivers that were texting or accessing smart phones held below the window line of the car.

‘We were very disappointed to see so many people accessing their smart phones in the morning whilst they drive.

‘Most of these were checking their calendars or confirming work commitments.’

The operation was run by road policing officers across the M27, M275, M271, M3, A34 in Hampshire as well as A34, M4 and M40 in the Thames Valley.

Thirteen drivers were given tickets for not being in proper control, seven drivers were caught for speeding offences, five for driving without due care and attention, one drink-driver arrest, one warrant arrest for someone wanted for an offence in Liverpool and three vehicles were seized for no licence or insurance.

Two HGVs were immobilised for being unsafe through excess driving and one was impounded for working too long in the UK without going home.

Another 15 mechanical prohibitions were made with £1,800 roadside fines for lorry drivers breaching hours.