Police in South Yorkshire caught an HGV driver who had been behind the wheel for more than 17 hours without taking a break.

He was one of 23 lorry drivers committing driving offences during an operation on the A1 focusing on HGVs and those carrying dangerous goods.

Of the drivers stopped, nine were issued with penalties for overweight vehicles and six were found to be exceeding their driving hours, with one trucker having been consecutively behind the wheel.

Other offences detected included improper use of tachograph, not wearing a seatbelt, driving while on a mobile phone, inappropriately using the hard shoulder and the existence of vehicle defects or being unsafe.

South Yorkshire’s roads policing inspector Matt Collings said: “Reducing fatalities and casualties remains our priority to creating safer roads.

“These operations are not about targeting certain drivers or businesses, but around ensuring that the law is abided and acknowledging that road traffic collisions involving larger vehicles can be catastrophic, so ensuring they are roadworthy and safe is vitally important.

“Every driver and vehicle can be involved in a serious collision, but the rules around weight, driving hours and vehicle condition are there to ensure that the risk is reduced.

“Preventative work is difficult to measure but removing the driver from the road after they’d been driving for 17 hours without a break will have certainly reduced the likelihood of him causing a collision,” he added.

“We all have a part to play in creating safer roads and I hope the penalties imposed make drivers think twice and change their behaviour.”