PCC backs HGV operation on the M4 to tackle poor driving
Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson has backed Wiltshire Police's Roads Policing Unit who identified 87 offences on the M4 in just four days, thanks to the use of an unmarked HGV this week.
The HGV, which was loaned to Wiltshire Police by National Highways, gives officers the ability to monitor drivers from an elevated position as they travel along the M4. It also allows for video evidence to be collected of drivers failing to abide by the law.
Conventional Police vehicles are then called in to stop vehicles found committing offences.
Over the course of just four days on the M4 this week, officers identified 87 offences, including 46 drivers not wearing seat belts, 23 drivers using mobile phones while driving, four people exceeding the speed limit.
There were also four overloaded vehicles, one red light jumper, one vehicle with a severely cracked windscreen and one person arrested for drug driving.
One of the most shocking cases was one HGV driver watching television whilst driving.
Sgt Will Ayres said: “It’s amazing what you see on our roads when you are in an elevated position – this week, we identified 87 offences on our roads and the drivers stopped will be reported to court.
“It’s really quite shocking that somebody would consider it acceptable to watch television whilst driving. The road requires your full attention at all times. If you are watching your favourite programme, no matter how good you are at multitasking, you are failing to concentrate on the road and you are significantly more likely to be involved in a collision. It’s extremely selfish and shows no respect for other road users.
“We are grateful to National Highways for the loan of the HGV – we are fully committed to keeping our road network as safe as possible and this resource significantly helped us target irresponsible drivers in our county.
“It is always disappointing to see drivers failing to comply with basic road safety – wearing a seat belt has been a legal requirement for many, many years yet we continue to see drivers failing this basic requirement.”
Beverley Hannah, National Highways’ South West Safety Co-ordinator, said: “The vast majority of drivers who use our roads every day behave responsibly behind the wheel, but there are some who are putting themselves and others at risk by simply ignoring the law.
“We work with our police partners across the country to tackle inappropriate driving such as using mobile phones, or not wearing seatbelts, and the HGV cabs employed as part of Operation Tramline are an important part of our commitment to tackling unsafe driving and those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and that of others on the road.
“We want to make all of our roads safer by raising awareness and we hope this operation encourages motorists to consider their driving behaviour.”