Dozens of drivers caught out for offences in undercover HGV operation

Dozens of unsuspecting drivers were caught out for mobile phone and seatbelt offences as police went undercover in a heavy goods vehicle. Roads policing officers headed out across Nottinghamshire’s roads in the lorry borrowed from Highways England in order to crack down on dangerous drivers. The elevated position of the cab gives officers a direct view into nearby vehicles so they can identify incidents as they happen and catch unsuspecting offenders in the act.

UNDERCOVER HGV operation by Nottinghamshire Police. (48453512) UNDERCOVER HGV operation by Nottinghamshire Police. (48453512)

Out of 32 stops, it resulted in 30 traffic offence reports being issued — 28 for not wearing a seatbelt and four for using a mobile phone while driving.

Sergeant Craig Luckett, of Nottinghamshire’s roads policing team, said: “It’s great to have been able to use the HGV from Highways England which allows us to drive alongside vehicles and record unsafe driving behaviour before stopping the offending drivers.

“It just goes to show that you never know when you are being recorded for illegal activities behind the wheel. We also regularly receive dash-cam and mobile phone footage of these offences which we always investigate. “One of the things we noticed during the operation was that lots of the drivers stopped for not wearing a seatbelt, had the belt already clipped in behind them which is quite shocking and difficult to understand why they’d go to this effort which is still dangerous and still an offence.”

Marie Biddulph, Highways England assistant regional safety coordinator, said: “We work very closely with our police partners to target that minority of drivers who flout the law and put themselves and others at risk.

“It is particularly disappointing that so many people fail to recognise the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt or using mobile phones while driving. Thanks to the elevated position in our unmarked HGV cabs, police officers can now spot these offences — whatever vehicle the drivers are in. “We hope this operation will encourage all road users to think more carefully about their driving behaviour and help improve safety on our roads.”

The HGV operation was one of a series of events by Nottinghamshire Police as part of a double-sided campaign — Global Road Safety week and the national seatbelt operation. The increased police activity began on May 17 and has resulted in lots of drivers being stopped for various offences. In Mansfield, local neighbourhood officers visited Jubilee Way South and Lindhurst Lane.

They issued four traffic offence reports and spoke with several drivers to give advice. Officers carried out a speeding operation in Beechdale Road, a 20mph zone in Broxtowe Estate. In total, 135 cars were checked and 12 drivers were stopped and spoken with.

One person was reported for summons in relation to having a child under 12 who was not in a car seat. A new community speed watch group was also set up in Bilsthorpe alongside the Ollerton safer neighbourhood team. Speed work took place in other areas across the county, including in and around the Newark and Sherwood villages.

“We’re committed to ensuring our roads are safe and these operations have given us the opportunity to dedicate resources to combatting ‘fatal four’ incidents and work collaboratively with local teams across the force to really bring home how important it is to adhere to driving regulations,” Sergeant Luckett said. “It’s so important to abide by the laws in relation to speeding, wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone and of course drink and drug-driving. It’s proven that flouting them is so dangerous and has led to some very tragic incidents on our roads.

We’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact on families and friends after losing a loved one in a way that could have been prevented.

“The laws are simply there to save lives and our activity to crackdown on dangerous driving continues on a daily basis throughout Nottinghamshire.”