Police pulled over an HGV driver on the M20 and fined him £100 after he was spotted with a laptop balanced on his dashboard.

He was one of 18 lorry and van drivers stopped in a week-long operation earlier this month by officers in Kent using an unmarked HGV to patrol motorways and A roads and record motorist offences.

Other offences spotted by the police included using a mobile phone, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, not being in proper control of the vehicle, not having insurance, carrying insecure loads and driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

In total, 31 traffic offence reports were issued, 10 fixed penalty notices and two court summons.

Chief Inspector Craig West said: “This operation has revealed that despite the rules, which have been in place for many years now, a minority of motorists are still prepared to break the law.

“A momentary lapse in concentration, such as talking on the phone, texting, or looking at a device such as a laptop in the vehicle, can have disastrous and life-changing consequences.

“Use of the unmarked lorry helps us see directly inside the driver’s cab, something we can’t do with our normal marked and unmarked police vehicles.

"Offences that we identify carry a fine and points on your licence, so ask yourself if it is really worth it,” he added.