‘Elevated position’ helps police detect dangerous driving actions

12.00 | 30 March 2016 |

A ‘unique motorway driver safety intervention’ which sees police detecting driving offences from the cab of a HGV tractor unit is reaching the mid-point of its two-year period of operation.

Under ‘Operation Tramline’, police use the elevated position in the HGV tractor unit to identify and record potentially dangerous commercial vehicle driver behaviour, using a hand held video camera.

The operation, a partnership between Highways England and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), was first trialled in south east England for a three-month period in 2014.

During the pilot it became clear that the elevated position in the HGV tractor unit helped the police to not only observe dangerous HGV drivers but also the behaviour of car drivers and other light vehicles.

During the pilot more than 450 offences were observed, including seat belt offences and drivers texting / using mobile phones / Facetiming, reading the newspaper, watching a DVD and one even brushing their teeth.

On the back of the pilot Highways England leased the HGV tractor unit for a further two years and in liaison with the NPCC is making it available to all English police forces. (Including Greater Manchester who filmed the above footage)

The project started in March 2015 and is touring the country on a monthly basis until April 2017. The aim is to ‘deter and discourage HGV non-compliance and improve driver behaviour’.

Between April and December 2015, under Operation Tramline 23 police forces stopped 1,483 vehicles, detected 2,048 offences and issued 2,094 interventions.

A news report on the TISPOL website says the success of the project can be judged by one police force reporting that ‘very few’ seatbelt offences were detected because of the ‘awareness of the HGV cab among the roads community’.

Click here to watch a Get Surrey report on its county’s use of the operation.



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