Unmarked HGV used by police officers to spot more than 140 driving offences on M1 in Northamptonshire

34 drivers were stopped for not wearing a seat belt and 35 were found to be using a mobile phone behind the wheel
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More than 140 traffic offences were spotted on the M1 in Northamptonshire by police officers in an unmarked HGV.

Officers from the Safer Roads Team, supported by colleagues from the Roads Policing Team and Special Constabulary, were on-board National Highways’ unmarked HGV to patrol between junctions 15 and 18 to spot drivers between Monday, October 30, and Friday, November 3.

During the five days of action, officers used the HGV super cab to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling alongside vehicles. Drivers seen committing an offence were then pulled over by a police car following a short distance behind.

Police officers use an unmarked HGV to get an elevated position where they can see if drivers are committing offences.Police officers use an unmarked HGV to get an elevated position where they can see if drivers are committing offences.
Police officers use an unmarked HGV to get an elevated position where they can see if drivers are committing offences.

In total, 147 traffic offences were detected, with 34 drivers and 12 passengers stopped for not wearing a seat belt.

A further 35 drivers were found to be using a mobile phone while behind the wheel, eight were reported for driving at excess speed, six for driving without due care or reasonable consideration to other road users and four for not being in proper control of their vehicle.

Three other drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drugs. The 20-year-old man from Northampton, 29-year-old man from Kettering and 25-year-old man from Wolverhampton were all released under investigation pending blood results.

One disqualified driver was spotted on the first day of the operation (Monday, October 30), and stopped by officers on the M1.

Martin Koky of Welford Road in Leicester had his white Maxus Deliver van seized and was arrested and subsequently charged with driving while disqualified and driving with no insurance.

The 24-year-old pleaded guilty at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, October 31, where he was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, banned from driving for a further 18 months and ordered to complete unpaid work.

Special Police Sergeant Adam Jeskins, of the Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team, said: “Some commercial drivers travel thousands of miles each year in the UK and across Europe and are sadly more likely to see the tragic consequences of poor driving standards, so it is always disappointing to still catch a small minority breaking the law.

“To hold a driving licence is both a privilege and a responsibility and it was very disappointing to find so many drivers prepared to put not only their lives but also their livelihoods at risk for the sake of not wearing a seat belt or checking their mobile phones.”

National Highways Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator, Marie Biddulph, added: “National Highways believes nobody should be harmed while travelling on our roads which is why we work so closely with our police partners in tackling unsafe driving behaviour.”

Also, 12 drivers had their vehicles seized, including six for driving without third-party insurance, three for driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and a further three for no vehicle tax.

Eight had insecure, dangerous loads, six drivers were stopped for having illegal window tints, three for number plate offences, two for towing trailers in Lane 4 and two received immediate prohibition orders for insecure load/tyre defects and overweight vehicles.