Lorry driver cruises truck down motorway with hands off wheel to roll cigarette

A lorry driver was filmed cruising his truck down a motorway with no hands on the wheel while he rolled a cigarette. And a van driver was caught on his phone and having a drink whilst driving – with just two fingers on the wheel. Video captured by police officers in an unmarked HGV show the van driver talking on his phone and looking at his sat nav whilst driving on the A500 in Stoke-on-Trent.

He then transfers the phone to his left hand and picks up a drink with his right – leaving just two fingers on the wheel. The driver was still on the phone as he exited the road, and didn’t realise he was being followed by police who had been alerted by the officers in the cab. Another clip shows a lorry driver who has both of his hands in a tobacco pouch and then who rolls a cigarette whilst driving along the M40 in Warwickshire.

He then looks over and sees the unmarked HGV videoing him before being followed off the motorway by police to be dealt with. The cabs, which have record more than 28,000 offence since they launched in 2015, will be used as part of a national crackdown on driving offences on the M6 next week. From Monday, officers from five forces will take part in the campaign on Britain’s longest motorway, dubbed Operation Vertebrae.

Video grab of a motorist driving with a drink in one hand and his phone in the other

Jeremy Phillips, head of road safety at National Highways, said: “Through this week of action we want to make all of our roads safer by raising awareness and encouraging motorists to consider their driving behaviour – not only on the M6 but on all of our roads.

The types of behaviour identified are typically those of a minority of motorists. “And whilst the number of people still using their mobile phone at the wheel or not wearing a seatbelt is disappointing, thanks to the Tramline HGVs we’ve been able to stop people who could have caused serious harm on the road.” National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing Operations, Commander Kyle Gordon, said: “We have collaborated with National Highways on the Operation Tramline roads safety initiative for many years.

We all recognise that being distracted while driving increases the risk of a collision and the potential to leave families and communities devastated, particularly with the sheer size and weight of some of the larger vehicles on our roads.

Video grab of a driver driving without a seatbelt

“We really welcome the opportunity to identify any driver who would put themselves and others at risk by being distracted, it is totally unacceptable.” The DVSA, Health and Safety Executive, the Home Office and Immigration Enforcement will also be offering advice and vehicle checks to drivers at motorway services. David Collins, DVSA’s Head of Enforcement said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

“We always welcome the opportunity to support other agencies with our enforcement teams’ wide-ranging expertise.

By using the latest technology and techniques we can target drivers and vehicles who pose the greatest risk to road safety.

“This week of action alongside our partners will help drivers, operators, and businesses better understand what they can do to keep our roads safe.”

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