Nearly 300 drivers fined by police in seatbelt and mobile phone crackdown

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

Police in Suffolk have been cracking down on professional drivers breaking the law during Operation Tramline

Almost 300 fines have been handed out by Suffolk police in a crackdown on HGV drivers flouting the law.

Officers took part in the constabulary's Operation Tramline between April 25 and April 30, pulling over 297 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), smaller goods vehicles and private cars.

Working alongside Highways England on the A14, A11 and A12, officers used an HGV tractor unit to carry out the patrols, using the higher elevation to spot drivers using their mobile phones or driving without a seatbelt.

Of all offences recorded, almost half of those given traffic offence reports (TORs) were for drivers not wearing a seatbelt – with 142 fines given out.

A further 57 were fined for not securing their load, while 15 were reported for driving while using their mobile phone.

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Other TORs were given for construction and use offences, for not being in proper control of the vehicle and for speeding.

PC Wayne Sturman, of the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, said the operation was launched due to the extra threats HGV drivers pose when breaking the law.

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PC Sturman said: "This was another very productive week of action and once again demonstrates the value of such operations. But it remains extremely frustrating to see the amount of drivers who feel they can flout the law.

"We are very grateful for the support of Highways England in providing us with the HGV tractor unit free of charge.  

"Our work will continue in Suffolk and Norfolk to educate lorry drivers through proactive enforcement of traffic laws, pre-planned operations and routine patrols."

Anthony Thorpe, Highways England incident prevention project manager, added: "The HGV cab project, which is funded by Highways England, patrols motorways and major A roads with the aim of improving road safety. 

"It provides an ideal viewing platform for police officers to identify dangerous driving behaviour that can be difficult to spot from standard police patrol vehicles – for example texting while driving.

"Highways England is committed to working collaboratively with our partners to improve road safety and we will continue to use the HGV cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive.”

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