Drivers fined for 'some truly staggering things' as police go undercover in lorries
Undercover officers inside a lorry logged more than 300 offences by motorists after tracking their movements. Surrey Police were loaned an unmarked HGV from Highways England and spent nine days in September and October tracking several main roads in the county.
Image: One driver was seen using their dashboard as a filing system.
Pic: Surrey Police
One officer sat behind the wheel of the HGV while another observed the drivers and recorded incidents. Once the observing officer realised someone was driving dangerously, they told a police vehicle which was travelling behind and subsequently stopped the dangerous driver. At the end of the nine day investigation, Surrey Police found 285 drivers committed 305 offences on the A3, M3, A23, M25 and A27.
Offences included not being in proper control of a vehicle, driving on the hard shoulder, due care and seatbelt offences, among many others. Words of advice were given to 104 motorists, 155 traffic offence reports were filed and 23 fixed penalty notices were handed out.
A total of 86 offences of not being in proper control of a vehicle were also reported, with the majority involved including drivers interacting with the satnav or maps function on a mobile.
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In images released by the force, one motorist was seen using their dashboard as a filing system while another drove along with a large object protruding from the passenger window.
Image: Another motorist drove along a major road with a large DIY object hanging outside of the passenger window. Pic: Surrey Police
Sergeant Kellie-Anne Harris, of the commercial vehicle unit, said: “The higher vantage point the HGV cab gives us is incredibly useful when it comes to looking down at what drivers are up to in their vehicles which might otherwise be obscured at ground level.
It also allows us to see directly into other HGV or large vehicle cabs which would just not be possible with other vehicles in our fleet. “Along with 65 uses of a mobile phone, 43 seatbelt offences and 25 speed offences, we saw some truly staggering things like someone using their elbows to steer, a man watching music videos and a woman doing her make up in lane 4 of the M25.” She added: “One gentleman was using his dashboard as his filing system and another driver was transporting DIY equipment unsafely along the M25.
The drivers were given words of advice and rectified their mistakes before being allowed to continue their journeys.”