A lorry driver was stopped by the police patrolling the M5 after he was observed watching a Formula 1 documentary on his mobile phone while behind the wheel.

The outrageous stunt was highlighted by Gloucestershire police as one of the ‘fatal four’ causes of road deaths and injury – use of a mobile phone, along with inappropriate speed, not wearing a seat belt and drink or drug driving.

Officers who identified drivers committing offences on the motorway were recorded with a video camera from the cab of an unmarked HGV, before they notified officers in an accompanying car.

These officers then intercepted the offending vehicle, pulled it over and dealt with the driver.

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The distracted trucker, who was also not wearing a seat belt, was handed a ticket for not being in proper control of his HGV, as well as given advice about the possible consequences of his actions.

Between 10 – 15 May, 70 drivers were stopped for one of the four offences on the M5, plus having insecure loads or no insurance or MoT.

Sergeant Lucy Powell said: “Operation Tramline is a national operation in partnership with Highways England and it allowed us to use an unmarked HGV cab.

“Drivers using a phone behind the wheel are four times more likely to be involved in a collision, far less likely to notice and react to hazards, more likely to show poor lane discipline and make more variable speed choices.

“The vantage point that we got from the cab allowed us to detect offences that we might not see from our normal patrol vehicles, particularly with heavy goods vehicles and larger vans.”