Greater Manchester Police Use Lorry to Catch Texters

11 May 2015, 04:00

Heart North West News | The Dangers of Texting and Driving


Greater Manchester Police have been using a new tactic to catch people breaking the law while driving.

For the first week of May, officers have been driving around the M60 in an unmarked HGV trying to catch people driving illegally.

Drivers were stopped for a number of offences including texting at the wheel, aggressive driving and one driver even reading a book at the wheel.

GMP stopped 71 people in total; 66 of them issued with tickets for driving without due care with a potential penalty of three points and a £100 fine, one given an on the spot fine with one vehicle was seized.

Operation Tramline is about trying to stop people being killed or injured on our roads; people like Don McGahey from Macclesfield who has been left with life changing injuries after being knocked down.

It was claimed the driver had been on their phone at the time, although it was never proven in court.

Heart's Sarah Poole talks to Don's wife, Barbara.

Don's wife Barbara has been telling Heart about what happened: "Don was the last of the group, he'd got the the fast lane and he was just about to put his foot on the pavement when the car hit him, his head hit the windscreen and then the road"

Don suffered multiple injuries, with doctors telling Barbara that his husband would not survive. He did though, and seven years on he is blind in one eye, almost totally deaf, suffering with memory loss and afraid to go outside.

"It makes me very angry, I look at them and think you have no idea, in seconds you could ruin someone's life, you could ruin your own life in just a second. "Our lives have been ruined".

Gary Rae from the road safety charity Brake tells Heart: "More and more people think that it's ok to sneak that quick text, but it's not. That distraction, that millisecond away from taking your eyes off the road can really lead to some tragic consequences.

"Families are devastated by these actions, they lose their loved ones of have life changing injuries.

"Sat behind the wheel is not the best place to carry out these tasks and I think it's about education and enforcement by police when they do catch them."

Being caught using a phone behind the year could cost you 3 penalty points and £100 fine, but the cost if you caused a crash, could be a lot more.