Mandatory Credit: Photo by Road Transport Media/REX/Shutterstock (2333989d) Driver in the cab of a Scania G440 Various

Truck driver with foot on dashboard one of 4000 caught by unmarked HGV in two years

A single unmarked HGV has caught more than 4000 drivers committing offences on the road in the past two years, including a truck driver who was checking his mobile phone while he had a foot on the dashboard.

The driver, stopped by Humberside Police, was travelling from the M18 onto the M62 near Goole.

In all, 28 police forces have taken part in the HGV cab safety initiative since it began in April 2015, pulling over 4,176 drivers – of all class of vehicle – in relation to 5,039 offences.

The most common offence was using a mobile phone (2,508 stopped), followed by not wearing a seatbelt (901), not in proper control of vehicle (253) and speeding (249).

Officers gave verbal advice to 388 drivers, issued 838 fixed or graduated penalty notices, and filed 3,318 traffic offence reports – usually requiring attendance at a driver education course. There were also 113 prosecutions for more serious offences.

The elevated position of the cab allows police officers to film unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles on motorways and major A roads. Drivers are then pulled over by police cars following behind.

Richard Leonard, Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, said: “We’ve found that the vast majority of drivers are sensible behind the wheel but a few have got into bad habits, or are simply ignoring the law and putting themselves and others at risk.

“It’s shocking that around two thirds of the drivers that were stopped were using their phones when the statistics show that mobile phone use contributes to two deaths every month on the roads.

“The footage of the driver with his foot up on the dashboard is particularly alarming, and I dread to think what would have happened if he had needed to brake suddenly. We will continue to use the cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive.”

Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett said: “All drivers must drive safely and pay due care and attention to all road users and must comply with the Highway Code.

“We constantly push the message that drivers should not use hand held mobile phones or any other devices – electronic of otherwise – while driving. Any distraction puts the driver of the vehicle and other road users; including pedestrians at risk.”

About Dan Parton

Dan Parton is editor of Truck & Driver.

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