In a recent press release from Highways England, it has been announced that police forces will be taking to the UK’s motorways and A-roads in unmarked HGVs to catch dangerous drivers. The plan, which is being funded by Highways England, comes after an initial test saw just one unmarked HGV catch over 4,000 dangerous drivers in the act during its first two years on the road.
All of the new police HGVs have been fitted with sophisticated wide-angle cameras that can be used to film drivers exhibiting unsafe behaviour – this includes everything from using a mobile phone to speeding. Strengthening this ability further, the police HGVs have all been derestricted and are capable of reaching the national speed limit on the UK’s major roads.
Positioning themselves alongside offending drivers and filming unsafe behaviours, the HGVs will then relay vehicle information to traditional police cars that are travelling behind. These police cars will then be able to pull over and charge drivers that have been caught performing an unlawful act.
Talking of the new initiative, Richard Leonard, Highway’s England’s Head of Road Safety, said:
“Highways England has been funding a single cab for the past couple of years and we’ve been impressed with the impact it’s had on improving safety. Over 4,000 dangerous drivers have been pulled over, with police action ranging from verbal warnings to prosecutions.
“We’ve found that the vast majority of drivers are sensible behind the wheel but a few have got into bad habits, or are simply ignoring the law and putting themselves and others at risk.”
Highways England have released statistics saying that, of the 4,176 drivers pulled over during the trial, nearly two thirds were stopped for illegally using their mobile phone whilst driving. With studies showing that mobile phones are a factor in an average of two deaths on the road every month, the penalty for drivers caught using their phone was recently doubled by the Government; making the penalty 6 points and a £200 fine.
The new initiative certainly seems like a good way to make our roads safer – especially when it comes to mobile phone usage. What do you think of this new plan? We’d like to see your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.