Police are patrolling the M62 in an unmarked HGV in a bid to identify dangerous drivers and cut the number of collisions on the route.

The month-long patrol, called Operation Pennine, will see police forces use a Highways England unmarked HGV to spot drivers committing mobile phone and other safety offences.

DVSA enforcement officers will also carry out checks on vans and lorries for road worthiness, secure loads, and weight and drivers’ hours, as part of the operation.

The move is prompted by the number of collisions on the 107-mile route, amounting to around five a day. It follows a similar crackdown on the M1 earlier this year which led to the number of collisions falling by almost a third.

John Walford, Highways England incident prevention manager, said: “The vast majority of drivers obey the law, but a few are risking potentially devastating consequences by not carrying out appropriate checks before setting off or by driving dangerously.

“Our month of action will see enforcement agencies carrying out checks along the M62 and at the ports in Liverpool, Hull and Immingham to help improve safety for everyone.”

The operation will run from this week until 18 October

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Laura Great-Rex, DVSA head of enforcement, said: “There is no excuse for driving tired or driving a dangerous lorry and we will not hesitate in taking action against those who flout the law.

“By working with the police and Highways England and sharing intelligence we help make Britain’s roads even safer.”

Mark Cartwright, FTA head of vans and LCVs said: “Strict government enforcement of compliance and safety standards – for both heavy and light vehicles – is vital to keep our roads running efficiently and effectively. Responsible vehicle operators will have nothing to fear.”