Essex: Lorry driver caught writing on a notepad while driving on the A12
15:32 19 November 2012
Archant © 2010
UNDERCOVER police caught a trucker writing on a notepad while driving on the A12, it’s been revealed.
Officers, who have been driving around Essex in an unmarked lorry, spotted another truck driver typing on an iPad while at the wheel.
Both lorry drivers - discovered during an Essex Police crackdown on poor driving - were prosecuted for not having proper control of a vehicle.
The constabulary said the height of the lorry gave officers an ideal vantage point for looking into other cabs and cars.
Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager at Essex Police, said: “Although it has been nicknamed the ‘plainclothes lorry’ there is nothing secret or covert about the truck.
“It is being used for road safety and general policing patrols and is especially useful for keeping an eye on lorry drivers and motorists who are not driving safely or are breaking the law by using phones and other devices or not wearing seat belts.
“It has been a real eye-opener to see the results of the HGV patrols because police in cars or motorbikes cannot see in the lofty cabs of lorries.
“In just two days of operations the HGV has seen lorries being driven at 50mph or more while the drivers are clearly distracted.
“In one case a driver was writing notes on an A4 pad resting on the steering wheel while negotiating the bends on the A12 at Ingatestone. If the truck had gone out of control the consequences could easily have been fatal for the lorry driver and anyone driving towards him on the other carriageway.
“We are extremely concerned at the way drivers are being distracted at the wheel, especially with the massive increase in the use of smart phones and iPads. There have also been reports of some continental lorry driver watching TV or films while driving.
“We are determined that through patrols with the HGV we can reduce the dangers of commercial drivers taking liberties and putting innocent lives at risk.”