Warwickshire Police spot 124 offences in four days on M40

Warwickshire Police spotted 124 offences across four days on the M40.

With a national seat belt enforcement campaign running this week, Warwickshire Police and Highways England took part in 'Operation Tramline', which is aimed at changing driver behaviour on the roads.

Police are appealing for witnesses

Police are appealing for witnesses

'Operation Tramline' is in place to help decrease the number of people killed or seriously injured on the Highways England road network (motorways and major trunk roads).

A plain white HGV tractor unit has been operated by Warwickshire Police along the M40 for four days this week. The elevated position of the cab allows police officers to film unsafe driving behaviour within passing vehicles and to deal with these offences as appropriate.

Over the four days of the Operation 124 offences have been detected (with one arrest), 49 of these were seatbelt offences for either lack of use or incorrect use.

The national seatbelt campaign has been in place from March 11 to March 24 to ensure motorists are using their seatbelts and child restraints correctly and to crack down on offenders who continue to break the law.

Seatbelt use is such a significant contributory factor with regards to road collisions and the resulting injuries. In the UK it is a legal requirement for drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt, unless they have an exemption and it is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that any passenger under 14 years old is using the appropriate child restraint or an adult seatbelt.

Over the past two years in Warwickshire nine people have been killed and 19 seriously injured in collisions where a seatbelt has not been worn.

Anthony Thorpe, Highways England Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention Advisor said: "The HGV cab project, which is funded by Highways England, has been patrolling motorways and major A roads over the past couple of years with the aim of improving road safety.

"It provides an ideal viewing platform for police officers to identify dangerous driving behaviour that can be difficult to spot from standard police patrol vehicles - for example driving without wearing a seatbelt.

"Highways England is committed to working collaboratively with our partners in the police to improve road safety and we will continue to use the HGV cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Warwickshire Police for their continued support of the project.

Sgt Carl Stafford of Warwickshire Police said: "It's concerning that there are still motorists using our road network that are willing to risk their own and others safety by concentrating on things other than driving.

"We have witnessed drivers of heavy goods vehicles texting, watching films and using social media sites.

"There are education campaigns that highlight various road safety issues, such as seatbelt use and using a mobile phone, there is no excuse for people not to know what the law states or the penalties they can receive when they are caught.

"This Operation is a great demonstration of joint partnership working with Highways England where the ultimate aim is to improve road safety for all and reduce the amount of people that are killed or seriously injured on our roads."