M25 drivers to be monitored from HGV ‘supercabs’ to prevent crashes
Unmarked HGV ‘supercabs’ will be patrolling the M25 as part of efforts to prevent crashes. The cabs will be used to monitor drivers of all types of vehicles and stop them committing safety offences such as using phones at the wheel and not wearing seatbelts. The crackdown, called Operation Orbital, is being run by National Highways alongside the DVSA, Surrey Police and other forces.
: Still no reopening date for Woking’s Victoria Way as safety issues continue It began today (Monday, November 15) and also involves agencies carrying out checks on vans and lorries for roadworthiness, secure loads, weight, and drivers’ hours. The initiative follows a previous scheme called Operation Tramline, through which 481 drivers were stopped in Surrey and Sussex in 2020/21.
Of these, 170 were using phones, 204 weren’t in proper control and 107 were not wearing a seat belt. The HGV supercabs allow officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles. Drivers are then pulled over by police cars following a short distance behind.
The cabs have derestricted speed limiters, which means they can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit, and have flashing lights for use in an emergency. Colin Evans, regional road safety coordinator for National Highways in the South East, said: “Over 7,500 vehicles travel round the M25 every hour, ranging from commuters getting to work to haulage firms delivering goods along the route or overseas. “The vast majority of drivers obey the law but a few are risking potentially devastating consequences by not carrying out appropriate checks before setting off or by driving dangerously.
“The two weeks of action will see enforcement agencies carrying out checks along the M25 to help improve safety for everyone.” National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “Operation Orbital is a successful collaboration between the police and National Highways. 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 National Highways on Operation Orbital and will take action against drivers who ignore the risks.”
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Download it via the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android. DVSA’s director of enforcement, Marian Kitson, said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect people from unsafe drivers and vehicles. This action, alongside our partners, is to stop people cutting corners on road safety.
Every driver or operator has a responsibility to check their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before beginning a journey. “DVSA is here to support those operators and drivers who do comply and are safe on our roads. We want to ensure they are not disadvantaged by dangerous and reckless road use.
“We endeavour to support drivers and operators to remain safe, which is why we have produced guidance accessible on GOV.UK to empower commercial road users to make the M25 safe for everybody.”
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