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Police Scotland wheels out HGV in bid to catch careless drivers

Police Scotland are using an HGV to get a better view of careless drivers (Police Scotland/PA)
Police Scotland are using an HGV to get a better view of careless drivers (Police Scotland/PA)

Police officers are taking to the roads in an unmarked HGV as part of the latest effort to crack down on careless drivers.

The vehicle will be used by Police Scotland as part of Operation Tramline – which has already seen drivers reported for 85 offences since it began in late April.

Road policing officer Tom Aitken said being in the cab of the HGV allows him and his colleagues a “good view of drivers and what they are doing”.

An HGV driver on the Edinburgh City bypass was fined £200 and had six penalty points put on his licence after he was spotted with both hands on his mobile phone, steering his lorry using his forearms.

A 23-year-old woman was caught driving on the M90 Queensferry Crossing while eating cereal from a bowl. She was fined £100 and had three points put on her licence.

Police Scotland said that since Operation Tramline began on April 26, 36 drivers have been given warnings for various offences, with 85 offences being reported – including 47 drivers caught  using their mobile phone behind the wheel.

Sitting in the cab of the HGV allows police officers to better spot careless and dangerous drivers (Police Scotland/PA)

The HGV is currently operating on dual carriageways and motorways in Fife, in and around Edinburgh and in the Forth Valley area as part of the crackdown.

Mr Aitken said: “Reducing the number of road casualties is a priority for Police Scotland and we are always looking at ways to enhance our ability to investigate road traffic offences.

“As well as working closely with partners to help make roads safer for all road users, we regularly use footage from dashcams, headcams and CCTV to investigate road traffic offences.

“Most people know the effect alcohol and drugs can have on driving, but the small things can be overlooked.

“It is just not smart eating as you are driving, it is downright dangerous. The same goes for using any mobile device and reading.

“Acting like this means you are distracted and therefore not in proper control of your vehicle. A split second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.

“Not wearing a seatbelt is life-threatening. If you are not fully secure then the consequences if you are involved in a crash could be deadly.

“Road policing officers unfortunately see the devastation this causes and we urge drivers to be responsible and make sure they are safe.

“Think of the effects a crash could have on your loved ones.

“The HGV enables officers to have a good view of drivers and what they are doing. It is another tool we are using to make Scotland’s roads safer.”

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