HGV driver caught ‘watching documentary on phone’ while on M5

This police footage shows the moment a lorry driver was allegedly watching a Formula One documentary on his mobile phone while on the M5. He was hit with a ticket for not being in proper control of his HGV, as well as given words of advice about the possible consequences of his actions. Gloucestershire Police revealed another HGV driver was caught looking at his TV, also behind the wheel on the same motorway.

They were two of 70 offences drivers were allegedly caught committing on the M5 during a week of action by police, who released videos of the incidents to the press. The force’s roads policing unit secretly observed motorists using an unmarked lorry between May 10 to 15, as part of a joint operation with Highways England. Drivers were issued with tickets or given warnings/words of advice about their actions.

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Offences included using mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt, driving at excessive speed, not being in proper control of their vehicle, having insecure loads or not insurance/MOT.

Sergeant Lucy Powell said: “Operation Tramline is a national operation in partnership with Highways England and it allowed us to use an unmarked HGV cab. “Drivers using a phone behind the wheel are four times more likely to be involved in a collision, far less likely to notice and react to hazards, more likely to show poor lane discipline and make more variable speed choices. “The vantage point that we got from the cab allowed us to detect offences that we might not see from our normal patrol vehicles, particularly with heavy goods vehicles and larger vans.

“The use of the cab was a really great tool for keeping the roads of Gloucestershire safe.” Before last week’s operation, 65 people had been given tickets for using a mobile phone whilst driving and 12 tickets were issued for not being in proper control of the vehicle. A total of 13 people are also due to be prosecuted for not paying the fine.

Operation Tramline has caught over 4,000 distracted drivers so far this year after they were seen to be committing a variety of offences including driving while using mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding and drink or drug driving.

The Operation has been in place to crack down on offenders who continue to break the law and to help decrease the number of people killed or seriously injured on the Highways England road network (motorways and major trunk roads).

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