Police HGV operations identify over 500 offences

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Officers from South Yorkshire Police dealt with more than 500 offences on the county’s motorways and main roads by using a new tactic - an unmarked heavy goods lorry.

During a two-week period, 181 fixed penalty notices were issued for such offences as using a mobile phone, not wearing a seatbelt and not being in proper control.

The most reckless behaviour, during the operation which ran from 12th to 23rd September, included one driver watching a DVD player and another making repairs to a CB radio microphone with a screwdriver, with no hands on the wheel.

In addition, 320 tachograph offences were detected, one driver was dealt for using red diesel and another was dealt with for being in control of vehicle that was 1.6 tonnes overweight.

By borrowing an unmarked heavy goods vehicle, it gave officers the ability to see directly into the cabs of commercial vehicles as well as getting a different view of regular vehicles to check whether their drivers were keeping their eyes on the road.

Also, specially trained officers checked wagons identified as potentially carrying dangerous goods. Of the 42 vehicles checked, 20 were breaking the law for such things as being incorrectly labelled or unsafe.

Chief inspector Stuart Walne, head of roads policing in South Yorkshire said: “It is pleasing that these latest operations have allowed us to educate so many drivers about their behaviour, and enforce the law were appropriate.”

“However, at the same time it is alarming that so many drivers of commercial and private vehicles continue to put their life, and the lives of others in danger with what can only be described as dangerous and irresponsible behaviour behind the wheel.”

“Any vehicle that is not being driven correctly can be a lethal weapon – especially large vehicles being driven at speed. This is the second time in the last six months that we have employed this tactic and we will continue to use all the resources available to us to tackle dangerous driving on our roads.”