An unmarked HGV cab, which has been used to catch 5,000 careless drivers on UK motorways, has made its final journey.
Over the past three years, the cab has travelled 99,000 miles on motorways and major A roads since the initiative begun.
On its final journey the HGV spotted a fellow lorry driver taking notes behind the wheel.
The incident was caught on camera and sees the driver clearly distracted by a number of pieces of A4 paper on his steering wheel.
It was captured on the M6 near the junction with the M62 last week.
While the current HGV is being removed from the road, Highways England is now funding three new HGV ‘supercabs’, to continue caching motorists across the UK.
The old truck, which has been used by police forces across the country, stopped a total of 5,408 drivers in relation to 6,257 offences.
Greater Manchester Police was one of the first police forces to use the cab when it was introduced in April 2015, and will be the final force to use it before a new dedicated cab for the North goes on patrol from next month.
John Walford, Incident Prevention Manager at Highways England, said: “We began the HGV cab initiative three years ago as part of the work we’re doing to improve safety on motorways and major A roads, and we’ve been impressed by the impact it’s had.
Lorry driver was caught writing on a notebook while behind the wheel
“Police officers have pulled over more than 5,000 drivers for offences which could have resulted in serious collisions, either because road users have got into bad habits or are simply ignoring the law.
Police officers have pulled over more than 5,000 drivers for offences which could have resulted in serious collisions
“We’ve found that the vast majority of drivers are sensible behind the wheel but some are putting themselves and others at risk, so we’ve therefore decided to fund three new HGV cabs to continue to improve road safety.”
These new supercabs will be fitted with wide-angle cameras and be used to capture unsafe driving behaviour.
Unlike typical lorries, these vehicles will have a derestricted speed limiter, meaning they can travel up to the national speed limit.
In addition to this they will also be fitted with flashing lights, to be used in an emergency.
Chief Inspector Tariq Butt, who leads Greater Manchester Police’s Traffic Unit, said: “The use of the HGV cab as part of Operation Tramline has been a huge success across Greater Manchester over the last three years.
“The ‘supercabs’ will be a welcome addition and are crucial in raising continued awareness of a driver’s responsibilities, improving road safety and more importantly reducing road casualties.”
Since the first lorry was introduced, 28 police forces have taken part in the HGV cab safety initiative over the past three years.
Over half of the drivers who were stopped were illegally using a mobile phone while driving, despite the latest statistics showing that mobile phone use is a factor in an average of two deaths on the roads every month.
Officers gave verbal advice to 537 drivers, issued 1,014 fixed or graduated penalty notices, and filed 4,180 traffic offence reports – usually requiring drivers to attend a driver education course.
There were also 194 prosecutions for more serious offences.
The lorry driver was spotted on the M6
The most common offences filmed using the unmarked HGV cab included:
• using mobile phones – 2,971
• not wearing seatbelts – 1,227
• speeding – 331
• not in proper control of vehicles – 310