A pioneering scheme will see undercover LORRIES used to help snare dangerous drivers on Midland motorways.
The unmarked HGV ‘supercab’ will take to roads as part of a unique initiative to tackle unsafe driving on motorways and major A roads.
It follows a similar scheme in the region launched three years ago, which saw police catch more than 300 reckless motorists brazenly using MOBILE PHONES behind the wheel.
In total, 28 police forces across England have taken part in the HGV cab safety initiative since it began in April 2015, pulling over 4,176 drivers in relation to 5,039 offences in its first two years. In the West Midlands, 576 drivers were pulled over in relation to 634 offences.
More than 300 of the drivers who were stopped in the West Midlands were illegally using a mobile phone while driving, despite the latest statistics showing that mobile phone use is a factor in an average of two deaths on the roads every month.
The lorries are fitted with wide-angle cameras to capture unsafe driving and have derestricted speed limiters – meaning they can travel at speeds up to the national limit. Flashing lights have also been installed for use by police forces in the event of an emergency.
The cabs allow police officers to film evidence of dangerous driving by pulling up alongside vehicles. Motorists are then stopped by police cars following behind.
The scheme – funded by Highways England – comes a year after the government doubled the penalty for drivers caught using their phones at the wheel.
Motorists now receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine – up from the previous three points and £100 fine.
Richard Leonard, Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, said: “This is all about improving safety on Midlands roads.
“Highways England has been funding a single cab for the past couple of years and we’ve been impressed with the impact it’s had. Over 4,000 dangerous drivers have been pulled over, with police action ranging from verbal warnings to prosecutions. We’ve found that the vast majority of drivers are sensible behind the wheel but a few have got into bad habits, or are simply ignoring the law and putting themselves and others at risk. We’ve therefore decided to fund two extra unmarked HGV cabs, included one based with police forces in the Midlands, to continue to target dangerous driving on England’s motorways and major A roads, improving safety for everyone.”