Thames Valley: 198 drivers prosecuted last week

1 October 2013, 15:53 | Updated: 1 October 2013, 15:56

Thames Valley and Hampshire Police forces used an unmarked lorry cab to catch offenders.

It's the third Operation Tramline run by officers from the two forces' Joint Operations Unit, focussing on the M27, M3, A34, M4 and M40.

Heart's been told individual vehicles were identified committing offences, with some vehicles evidencing a number of offences bringing the total to 227.
Behaviour by motorists spotted by the Tramline team included:
A car driver having a shave whilst driving;
A lorry driver brushing his teeth.
A woman doing her make-up in the rear view mirror as she drove on the motorway;
Two van drivers reading newspapers whilst they drove;
One person reading a map on the steering wheel;
Two drivers using iPads (one on the steering wheel) whilst they drove;
One driver using a laptop;
One van driver seen accessing Facebook on her mobile phone whilst driving on the M27.

All drivers were issued with notices that will result in a £100 fine and three points on their licence. Some may not have to take the points if they attend a driver awareness course.

Sergeant Paul Dimond, who co-ordinated Op Tramline, said:

“Distracted driving is proven to be a significant factor in many of the collisions on our roads.
“Although the focus of the operation was on distraction offences we acted on any offences seen by the lorry as well as any seen by the marked patrol cars in support.
“Many of the people stopped agreed with the police action and were very embarrassed having been caught on their phones. The vast majority were holding phones in their lap and accessing applications or texting with their hands held low – this can be very dangerous.
“The use of the high viewing platform was especially important for looking down into the vehicles. It is also the only police vehicle capable of effectively highlighting distraction offences by other lorry drivers.
“Motorways are statistically the safest roads to travel on. The vast majority of the motorists observed during the week were driving safely in compliance with the law.
“These offences are being committed by otherwise law abiding and hardworking people. Unfortunately it is that same group of people that are being hurt as a result of the accidents.  Through cracking down on this sort of offence, we aim to make our roads safer for all motorists.”