Warwickshire Police detects almost 100 offences during Operation Tramline
Warwickshire Police detected almost 100 offences in just three days during Operation Tramline between 27 February and 1 March 2023.
Officers were dismayed at what they saw as they used a National Highways owned supercab to patrol the M40, M6, M69 and A46 in Warwickshire to observe driver behaviours. The elevated position provided by the HGV, helped officers identify and deal with 97 offences including:-
One car driver who was reported for watching a film on his mobile phone whilst driving at 55mph on the motorway.
A van driver who was also reported for watching a film on his mobile phone whilst driving.
A provisional licence holder who was intercepted driving to their driving test without being supervised. Their vehicle was seized.
Another driver who was reported for driving without due care and attention and speeding having only had his licence for 3 days. The rules for new drivers are tougher and if you build up 6 points in your first 2 years of driving you will lose your licence and will have to start again and retake your test.
One driver was reported for speeding after being caught travelling at 115mph on the M40. He will go straight to court.
Another driver was charged with failing to stop and dangerous driving and had no documentation. As they failed to stop when indicated to do so by the police, their car was also seized.
Officers also arrested an illegal immigrant on behalf of immigration.
In addition, officers identified 61 drivers committing one of the four biggest dangers whilst driving, called the ‘Fatal 4’. Twenty-six drivers were detected using a handheld mobile phone while driving at speeds of up to 70mph. Twenty-three drivers (or their passengers) were not wearing seatbelts and 12 drivers were caught speeding.
Officers also dealt with 7 drivers for not being in proper control of their vehicle, 2 for driving with no insurance and three vehicles were seized.
Once a suspected offence was identified, the vehicle was intercepted by officers and brought into a check site.
Out of a total of 85 drivers who were dealt with by officers, 47 were issued with Traffic Offence Reports and 1 driver received a Graduated Fixed Penalty. The remaining 37 receiving words of advice.
PS Shaun Bridle said “During this operation, I observed at first-hand how the majority of HGV drivers we saw are careful drivers, with seat belts being worn and no mobiles being used. However there is still much work to be done in educating van and car drivers with at least 3 of them likely to be disqualified and losing their jobs as a result of the choices they made driving through Warwickshire.”
“It’s extremely disappointing especially during the NPCC mobile phone campaign to see so many mobile phone offences. Please do not underestimate these offences, as driving whilst distracted can lead to death and injury to the driver and innocent people using the road network. As long as we continue to see drivers not complying with the law, we will plan more operations over the coming months. We also need drivers to take responsibility by avoiding these high risk behaviours whilst driving.”
“To support our aim of making Warwickshire’s roads as safe as possible, we are training more officers to be qualified HGV drivers to join the Op Tramline team.”
National Highways Assistant Regional Safety Coordinator, Marie Biddulph, said:
“We supply the unmarked HGV cabs to our police partners because we want to challenge unsafe driving and force motorists to think about their behaviour behind the wheel.
“It is frustrating to see so many people still putting themselves and others at risk on our roads. But those who continue to do so should be aware that our Operation Tramline HGVs are out there and can spot dangerous behaviour – whatever vehicle you are driving.”
Notes for editors
This Op Tramline took place during the national NPCC mobile phone operation from 20 February to 12 March 2023.
A video can be viewed here https://youtu.be/WDGO5bt7JHo
As of 25 March 2022 it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving.
(i) illuminating the screen;
(ii) checking the time;
(iii) checking notifications;
(iv) unlocking the device;
(v) making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or internet based call;
(vi) sending, receiving or uploading oral or written content;
(vii) sending, receiving or uploading a photo or video;
(viii) utilising camera, video, or sound recording functionality;
(ix) drafting any text;
(x) accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages;
(xi) accessing an application;
(xii) accessing the internet;