A policing operation using an unmarked HGV has apprehended a number of lorry drivers who were caught watching films whilst at the wheel on the M4 in Wiltshire.

Operation Tramline

Operation Tramline, which is a joint initiative between National Highways and the National Roads Policing Operations and Intelligence (NRPOI), identified more than 80 offenders over three days.

The operation monitored the M4 between Junction 14 and 18, targeting HGV drivers in particular.

Most of the 83 offences that were spotted included using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt when driving. However an unspecified number were caught watching films on mobile devices.

PC Luke Hobbs said: “The HGV gives us an elevated view into vehicles using this busy stretch of road so we can better detect offences such as mobile phone use.

”Whilst the majority are law abiding drivers, it is always shocking to see just what some of these drivers think they can get away with – all whilst in control of a vehicle which can be up to 44 tonnes in weight with the potential to cause significant and serious harm to others.

“Last week alone, we saw drivers watching films on their phones or tablets whilst behind the wheel, overloaded vehicles which can pose a real danger to other road users, and drivers showing a complete disregard for the speed limit.”

Operation Tramline uses three unmarked tractor units to target the ”fatal five offences”, which police say are drink/drug driving, careless driving, driving at excess speed, driving without a seatbelt and using a mobile phone.