OVER 240 driving offences were detected by police during the latest five-day Operation Tramline in Warwickshire.
Warwickshire Police’s Commercial Vehicle Unit stopped 199 vehicles on the M40, M42, M6 and A46 during the operation.
The unit, supported by the Operations Patrol Unit and Special Constabulary, used a specially adapted Highways England owned HGV supercab, from which they were better able to observe vehicles and drivers.
Sgt Carl Stafford said: “143 of the 199 vehicles stopped were commercial vehicles and most offences were committed by commercial drivers who are driving for work. This is too many and demonstrates that more education and enforcement activity is needed by police and partners.
“We are continuing to see issues with commercial vehicles not having a movement order and displaying incorrect signage when they are transporting abnormal loads.
“The weight of vehicles is also an issue with the smaller 3.5 ton vehicles. The worst offender was 55 per cent overweight and was prohibited from moving until the weight of the vehicle was reduced to the legal limit.
“Fortunately there are many responsible hauliers and commercial vehicle drivers who passed our stringent safety checks with flying colours and we were able to formally thank them with a joint Warwickshire Police, Highways England and Road Haulage Association ‘certificate’ and thank you mug as a small token of our appreciation for helping to make our roads safer.”
Highways England Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator, Marie Biddulph, said “The Highways England HGVs offer our police partners an elevated position so they can monitor the driving behaviour of those in every kind of vehicle.
“Safety is always our priority and through initiatives such as Operation Tramline we want to prevent incidents happening on our roads by reaching that minority of drivers who flout the law, putting themselves and others at risk.
“Knowing that these HGVs are patrolling our motorways and major A-roads, we hope that all motorists, including professional drivers, will consider their driving behaviour and the safety of their vehicles to help make sure all road users get home safe and sound.”
During the operation, a total of 203 Traffic Offence Reports were issued to drivers as well as 15 Graduated Fixed Penalty Notices amounting to £2,600.
Offences included speeding, using a mobile phone while driving, not being in proper control of a vehicle, not wearing a seatbelt, driving without insurance, stopping on the hard shoulder without good reason, driving in the outside lane when prohibited, vehicles in poor condition, driving without due care and attention, and insecure loads. 23 commercial drivers were referred to the Traffic Commissioner due to the seriousness of their offences. 24 drivers received words of advice from officers.
Warwickshire Police also recently supported the NPCC national Commercial Vehicle Week of Action (March 15-21) when the vast majority of the 66 driver offences detected on the M40 and M6 were from commercial vehicles, with only four car drivers being brought in to the check site.