Working alongside Highways England, police in Staffordshire have begun using an HGV cab on the region’s roads to detect driving offences. The new initiative is part of a national campaign entitled Operation Tramline.
The recent operation has so far seen Highways England lend one of its three new unmarked HGV cabs to local police forces, to assist in preventing collisions and improving the driving behaviour of UK motorists. The three HGV cabs will be shared by police units around the country and deployed on the strategic network covered by Highways England which includes both the A500 and M6 in Staffordshire.
Gaining the high ground
The elevated driver position in the HGV cab enables officers to drive alongside other vehicles and have a clear vantage point to detect unsafe motoring habits and offences being committed.
Staffordshire police have so far used the HGV vehicle to identify 14 seatbelt law infringements and 15 mobile phone use offences. A driver was advised on taking better care behind the wheel and 14 drivers were given warnings regarded defects in their vehicles. The extensive list of traffic violations detectable by the cab also includes speeding, heavy loads that are unsecured, insufficient vehicle maintenance and incorrect use of the hard shoulder.
A trial run for the HGV cab
The cab now being employed by the Road Policing Unit (RPU) for Staffordshire has been previously employed by the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) in the same capacity.
CMPG deployed the cab for three days during February on the M6. During the stretch, officers arrested a driver for immigration issues while another individual was taken into police custody for stealing the vehicle that they were driving
The RPU also recorded 15 offences for lack of seat belt use and 27 for illegal mobile phone use. There were four cars stopped for speeding offences and another four for reckless driving. Additionally, three vehicles were also seized for having no insurance.