Lorry Drivers Found Using Knees to Steer and Watching DVDs While Driving in Norfolk and Suffolk

15 March 2013, 15:24 | Updated: 15 March 2013, 16:27

Two hundred lorry drivers have been pulled over on the region's roads for doing things like driving with their knees, and being on the phone.

The operation ran from Monday 11 to Friday 15 March 2013, with the Suffolk Police Roads Policing Unit teaming up with colleagues from Norfolk and Essex to patrol dual carriageway roads in the counties using an unmarked lorry.

The aim was to detect and record traffic offences, particularly those that can distract drivers. These may include using a hand held mobile phone, watching TV/DVD/laptop, eating, drinking, steering with knees and reading a map/book/newspaper whilst driving.

Once the officer in the passenger seat of the lorry witnessed an offence, video evidence was recorded before the offending vehicle was pulled over by a unit in a pursuing team, consisting of two police cars and two police motorcycles.

Of the 200 offences recorded, 128 drivers were not wearing seatbelts, whilst 35 were using a mobile phone whilst driving.  Eight drivers were not in proper control of their vehicle and two vehicles were seized for having no insurance. There were a further 26 drivers who had committed various offences and additionally one driver was arrested for having a fraudulent driving licence.

Around £12,000 in fines was handed out through fixed penalty notices.

Sgt Paul Ward of the Casualty Reduction Team said:“This is the third operation we have held to clampdown on lorry drivers who flout the law. The consequences of a driver not having full control of their vehicle, being distracted, or not wearing a seatbelt can have devastating results.

“This was a very successful operation with a number of drivers dealt with for a range of offences. However, the figures do reflect the fact that a disappointing amount of people have the wrong attitudes when they are behind the wheel of a heavy goods vehicle.

“We will continue to educate lorry drivers about the dangers of driving whilst using a mobile, not wearing a seatbelt and other poor driving habits, to keep our roads safe for all users.”