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Surrey Police stop nearly 600 drivers during fortnight crack-down

Hundreds of drivers have been stopped by Surrey Police during a recent crack-down by the force. It was part of a national initiative called Operation Tramline. Police were out along thousands of miles of motorway, to tackle bad driving habits.

They stopped nearly 572 cars on the M25, A3 and M23 during the last couple of weeks in January. Officers from the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit (RPU) were manning an unmarked HGV cab which was driven around the roads network. The initiative is part of a national project, supported by Highways England which provides the cab.

The aim is to reduce collisions, cut the number of incidents and to improve safety, journey time and reliability on motorways and major roads. Whilst one officer was behind the wheel of the HGV, another was in the passenger seat observing the behaviour of drivers as it passed vehicles. The officer watching out for dangerous or distracting driving behaviours recorded footage of incidents giving cause for concern.

The ‘spotter’ would then relay information about specific distraction offences seen to a further police vehicle travelling behind which would intercept and indicate to the driver observed to pull over. Sergeant Sharon Kingston of Surrey RPU said:

“Working together with Highways England provides resilience and a cost effective way to work towards our joint aim to provide a safe and reliable road transport system for all drivers. “As a result we’re able to target some of the offences which can cause casualties on the county’s roads – the ‘fatal 4’ as they are named, include drink/drug driving, using a handheld mobile phone, speeding and seat belt offences.”

One woman was stopped on the M23 when she was seen holding an iPad in her left hand and texting with a phone in her right hand.

She was dealt with by means of a Traffic Offence Report (TOR) for driving without due care and attention. In another example a driver who was stopped for using his mobile phone asked if officers could ‘just tell him off’ as he already had nine points on his licence. He also had a letter he was due to reply to in relation to another offence.

The man was reported directly to court.

Operation Tramline will be carried out on the roads in the future as Surrey Police continues to tackle dangerous and anti-social driving habits.

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