A lorry driver talking on his mobile phone while driving on the M40 in Warwickshire almost collided with police videoing him in an unmarked HGV.

The footage captures one of 21,000 offences recorded by officers in HGV cabs since Highways England rolled out the national safety initiative, Operation Tramline.

In another clip, a trucker is seen looking down and texting on his phone as he travels along the motorway.

When he spots the police officers in the next lane he simply shrugs and puts his thumb up.

The Highways England HGV cabs are now being used as part of a multi-agency ‘week of action’ on the M6, from Monday 24 May to Sunday 30 May, which aims to reduce the number of incidents on the motorway and highlight the risks of dangerous driving.

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Among the incidents witnessed during Operation Tramline was a driver in the East Midlands steering a lorry with his knees while eating lunch on his lap and also using his phone.

In West Mercia, officers saw a driver eating lasagne with a knife and fork while driving along a motorway.

Elsewhere, Surrey Police spotted a HGV driver boiling a kettle on the dashboard and another eating pickled gherkins from a jar with his elbows on the steering wheel.

Consequences for the drivers range from warnings to fixed penalty notices, court summons or even arrest.

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, national police chiefs’ council lead for roads policing, said: “We remain committed to tackling those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and the safety of others on our roads by allowing themselves to be distracted while driving.

“The consequences of these actions are often devastating.”

The DVSA will also be involved in the week of action and will be conducting safety checks and vehicle inspections.