Lorry driver caught steering vehicle with elbows on South Yorkshire motorway

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More than half the 63 drivers stopped and dealt with by police during a safety campaign on motorways in South Yorkshire were using their mobile phones while driving, it has been revealed.

Officials say last week’s Operation Ophelia shows drivers are “still ignoring the warnings and risking their own lives as well as endangering others just to make a call or send a text”.

From a bespoke lorry tractor unit, supplied by Highways England, the team from South Yorkshire Police saw a number of examples of irresponsible driving during the five-day operation.

Lorry and car drivers were stopped for 63 offences, of which 36 were for using mobile phones while at the wheel.

Only eight drivers were stopped for not wearing a seat belt and the remaining offences included vehicles having no insurance, speeding or having defects to their HGVs.

Pc Pete Burke of South Yorkshire Police, who led the operation, said: “We saw some very scary behaviour by drivers of all kinds of vehicles.

“Officers filmed one man using his mobile phone when he was driving a petrol tanker. Just think of the devastation if that vehicle had been involved in a collision or had crashed.

“Another lorry driver was using his lap-top computer as a satellite navigation system and yet another was caught with paper work in one hand while using his other hand to input details into his sat nav. He was steering the very large vehicle with his elbows.”

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