The number of goods vehicle drivers found breaking laws regarding mobile phone use at the wheel, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt during a week-long operation in Norfolk was described as “shocking” by police.

Officers once again took to roads in the east of England in an unmarked HGV earlier this month to focus on offences committed by lorry drivers.

The tractor unit provides an ideal vantage point for the police to look directly into lorry cabs, with supporting officers on hand to pull over offenders.

In five days they stopped 214 HGVs, light goods vehicles and vans and 263 offences were detected.

In particular, the police said it was “truly startling” that 38% of the professional drivers stopped were for ‘fatal four’ offences.

These are drink and drug driving; not wearing a seatbelt; speeding and using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Other offences recorded included not being in proper control of the vehicle; no insurance; construction and use; insecure loads and wanted in connection with crime.

A total of 215 traffic offence reports were issued, three people were arrested, three vehicles were seized and four drivers were referred to the traffic commissioner.

Sergeant Jordan Pokorny of the joint roads and armed policing team, said: “The number of offences detected as part of this operation is really disappointing to see, but also shows how necessary these enforcement weeks are.”

Norfolk police and crime commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie said: “The numbers of drivers found to be committing offences during this operation is shocking and disappointing to see.

“It could take a split second for an accident to happen that could have devastating impacts for all of those involved.”