Since the Central Motorway Policing Group took over patrols patrols on the A500 D-Road between Hansford and Alsager, they have started a new crack down which see’s them using a Mercedes HGV to catch motorists using their phones and other devices whilst driving.
The unmarked Mercedes Lorry is owned by the Highways England and is not the first of it’s kind.
Within hours of the truck being out on patrol, it caught several motorists using their devices whilst at the wheel, a few reading and a few not wearing seatbelt including their child!
The unmarked car which accompanies the HGV was also able to stop a vehicle using false plates spotted by the truck crew. The driver using false plates also had no insurance and their passenger arrested for outstanding offences and failed court appearances. It is not just cars without insurance, truck drivers are also found without HGV Insurance.
Who mans the Truck and how does it work?
The truck is driven by an experienced police officer who has been put through HGV driver training. The driver is accompanied by a second patrol officer who wears body cameras to catch offences once he has spotted them.
Once an offender has been spotted, an unmarked police car then assists in pulling the driver over and issuing a penalty.
Why is it so effective?
Patrolling in a HGV gives you a considerable height advantage being able to look down into car windows and spot offences. It also puts the police at the same height as other HGV drivers who also are regularly caught using their mobile phone.
Given their new found height, they are able to spot offences much further off than usual patrol cars. Once spotted by the HGV, the unmarked police car engages pursuit with all evidence caught between the two police vehicles.
Why such measures to carry out this crackdown?
All to often, accidents are caused by people using their phone. This may be to read at text, reply to friend, change music or even at times, watch TV!
If travelling at 70mph, by the time you have read the average text you will have travelled the length of a football pitch. No one would close their eyes for that time whilst at that speed so why risk using your phone.
In that distance, a lot happens on a motorway and humans simply cannot operate both phone and a car at speed effectively and safely.
It is worth noting that being caught on your phone whilst driving is also a 6 penalty point offence and minimum £200 fine. I repeat offence can see your license be taken away.