Over the last week, our Specialist Operations team have been patrolling in an HGV tractor unit, loaned to the force by National Highways.
The elevated position of the HGV allows officers a better view of drivers who are committing driving offences, which we know are often the cause of collisions and injuries.
During the operation, officers tackled 170 offences including the use of mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt, and driving with insecure loads. HGV, van, and car drivers were given fixed penalty notices during the five days of enforcement on the A1.
Forty-nine per cent of drivers were given fixed penalty notices for not wearing seatbelts and twelve per cent were fined for using their mobile phones while driving. A further eleven per cent were fined for driving with insecure loads and eight per cent of HGV drivers were fined for exceeding their permitted hours.
One driver received a fixed penalty notice for watching TV whilst driving on the A1.
A 34-year-old Kyrgyzstan national, Azamat Boobekov, was arrested and charged with driving whilst not wearing a seatbelt, failing to take a rest period, and using a mobile phone while driving. He was remanded to court.
National Highways has three unmarked HGV cabs which it loans out to police forces across the country as part of Operation Tramline. The overall aim of Operation Tramline is to change driver behaviour and to discourage non-compliance with police and National Highways working in close partnership.
Inspector Marc Gee, Roads Policing, Lincolnshire Police said: “This is a really useful tactic to identify those drivers who put other road users at risk. While some drivers may change their driving behaviour when they see a police car, any risky driving standards are there to be seen from the vantage point of an unmarked HGV tractor unit.
“I make no apologies for using this method to enforce road traffic legislation. It’s not about fair game or catching people out, it’s simply about saving people from being killed or injured on our roads. Drivers who concentrate fully on the task of driving, have full control of their vehicle, and are not distracted, have nothing to worry about. Our actions are to change driver behaviour permanently and not temporarily.
“We’re grateful to National Highways for the opportunity to use the HGV tractor unit again.”
National Highways Assistant Regional Safety Coordinator, Marie Biddulph, said: “We know that the majority of people who use our roads drive safely and sensibly but unfortunately there are those who continue to put themselves and others at risk. The most common offences we see are people not wearing their seatbelt or using their mobile phone while driving.
“At National Highways, we believe no-one should be harmed while travelling or working on our roads and we need drivers to play their part in achieving that.
“Through Operation Tramline, and working in close partnership with our police colleagues, we want to make people think twice about their driving behaviour in the knowledge that the vehicle next to them may well be one of our unmarked HGV cabs.”