More than 200 dangerous drivers in Yorkshire have been caught by police using an unmarked HGV supercab on the county's busiest roads in the past 12 months, the Yorkshire Post can reveal.
Officers from West Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police used the vehicle, funded by Highways England as part of Operation Tramline, which aims to improve safety on the region’s high-speed roads.
The unmarked supercabs allow police to film evidence of unsafe driving, by pulling up alongside vehicles.
The drivers are then pulled over by police cars following a short distance behind.
The supercabs have a derestricted speed limiter which means they can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit. Flashing lights have also been installed in them for use by police in an emergency.
A total of 222 dangerous drivers were stopped by police across Yorkshire.
Out of the 222 stopped, 77 drivers were not wearing a seatbelt, 61 were using a mobile phone, 22 were not in proper control of their vehicle and eight were speeding.
A total of 89 penalty charge notices were issued by police and 107 traffic offences filed, which usually requires drivers to attend a driver education course.
There were also six prosecutions for more serious offences.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: “Operation Tramline is a successful collaboration between the police and Highways England.
“We remain committed to tackling those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and the safety of others on our roads by allowing themselves to be distracted while driving. The consequences of these actions are often devastating.
“We will continue to work alongside Highways England on Operation Tramline and will prosecute drivers who ignore the risks.”
A further 27 forces also used the supercabs across the country.
Footage captured from the cabs includes a lorry driver using his mobile phone to make a credit card payment as he travelled along the M40 near Leamington Spa. The trucker was seen holding his credit card in one hand and his phone in the other.
A van driver was also spotted with no hands on the wheel as he used one hand to change gear and the other to hold his mobile phone. The incident happened as he travelled along the A38 near Derby, even though he pulled into a service station to stop just a few seconds later.
Tom Cotton, Road Haulage Association’s head of licencing and infrastructure policy, said: “We need to improve road safety – there’s a small minority of drivers whose actions endanger other road users often with tragic consequences.
“Operation Tramline is an invaluable initiative to help police catch the drivers putting themselves and others at risk.”