How an unmarked HGV cab has been helping keep our motorways safe

AN unmarked HGV cab, which has been helping to keep motorists safe, is taking to the road for the final time after catching 5,000 careless drivers in the past three years. The cab has travelled 99,000 miles on motorways and A-roads since 2015 spotting an average of one offence every 16 miles. Highways England is now funding three new HGV ‘supercabs’ after the single cab, which is used by police forces across the country, stopped a total of 5,408 drivers in relation to 6,257 offences.

Greater Manchester Police[1] was one of the first police forces to use the cab when it was introduced in April, 2015 and will be the final force to use it before a new dedicated cab for the north goes on patrol later this month. New footage from GMP officers using the cab last month shows a lorry driver making notes on an A4 pad while travelling on the motorway. John Walford, incident prevention manager at Highways England, said: “We began the HGV cab initiative three years ago as part of the work[2] we’re doing to improve safety on motorways and major A-roads, and we’ve been impressed by the impact it’s had.

“Police officers have pulled over more than 5,000 drivers for offences which could have resulted in serious collisions, either because road users have got into bad habits or are simply ignoring the law. “We’ve found that the vast majority of drivers are sensible behind the wheel but some are putting themselves and others at risk, so we’ve therefore decided to fund three new HGV cabs to continue to improve road safety.” The three new ‘supercabs’ will patrol motorways and main trunk roads across England, and have been fitted with wide-angle cameras to capture unsafe driving behaviour.

They also have a de-restricted speed limiter which means they can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit, and flashing lights have been installed for use by police forces in an emergency. The cabs allow police officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles. Drivers are then pulled over by police cars[3] following behind.

Chief Inspector Tariq Butt, who leads Greater Manchester Police’s Traffic Unit, said: “The use of the HGV cab as part of Operation Tramline has been a huge success across Greater Manchester over the last three years. “The ‘supercabs’ will be a welcome addition and are crucial in raising continued awareness of a driver’s responsibilities, improving road safety and more importantly reducing road casualties.” In total, 28 police forces have taken part in the HGV cab safety initiative in its first three years.

More than half of the drivers who were stopped were illegally using a mobile phone while driving, despite the latest statistics showing that mobile phone use is a factor in an average of two deaths on the roads every month.


  1. ^ Greater Manchester Police (
  2. ^ work (
  3. ^ cars (

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