Lorry Driver Caught Watching Laptop

27 July 2017, 07:54 | Updated: 27 July 2017, 07:55

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A lorry driver has been fined after being spotted by police watching a film on a laptop as he drove along the M20.

Officers say he could only see a small fraction of the road every time he glanced at the screen.

He was one of dozens of drivers who were stopped, fined, given points or educational advice in a special roads policing operation.

From Monday 17 July to Friday 21 July , Kent Police roads policing officers patrolled the M20 in an unmarked Large Goods Vehicle. The 40-tonne lorry allows officers to see into cars and larger vehicles.

Motorists caught committing driving offences were filmed and then stopped by marked police cars.

In one case, a sports car was stopped for driving at 105mph on the M20 Coastbound between junctions 10 and 11.

Across the five days, 37 drivers were stopped for using mobile devices, 33 for speeding, two for driving an inappropriate vehicle in lane three, and one for a child seatbelt offence.

In total, 25 fines were issued, 15 were reported for offences, and in 33 cases advice was given by officers.

Superintendent Andrew Reeves said: "This five day operation has made it clear that despite the costs a minority of motorists are still prepared to break the law.

"Any momentary lapse in concentration, such as talking on the phone, texting or looking at a device such as a laptop in the vehicle, can have disastrous and life-changing consequences.

"It is for this reason that such offences can carry a large fine and six points on your licence. It is completely unacceptable behaviour, which puts the individual and other road users at risk. 

"I urge those caught in this operation and others who have used such devices while driving to learn from their mistakes and drive safely in future."

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott, who spent a day with the officers driving the unmarked lorry, said: "Crime is important no matter where it takes place - that includes offences committed in residential, business and online environments, and on our roads too.

"I have made providing effective roads policing a priority for Kent Police and it was good to spend the day with the Commercial Vehicle Unit and see innovative enforcement action being undertaken by a dedicated team of officers. It was really fascinating.

"It was also quite scary to see what people were doing at the wheel. As a passenger, I saw several people texting or using a phone while driving."