Warwickshire Police using a Highways England HGV detected 211 driving offences during a five-day operation between 14-18 September.

One HGV driver was apprehended driving on the hard shoulder at over 50mph whilst at the same time using his mobile phone.

Another driver was caught reading his delivery notes as he drove at 70mph on the M40, whilst a third was apprehended watching TV on a laptop whilst travelling on the M40 at nearly 60mph.

For two drivers, the offences were so serious they were referred to the Traffic Commissioner.

The operation, which primarily targeted commercial drivers, is part of Project Edward which uses a specially adapted Highways England Op Tramline supercab to identify risky driver behaviours. Of the 211 offences committed, 35% were committed by commercial drivers.

During the week, 41 people received Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) for using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving – often at high speed (a potential six points on their licence and a £200 fine).

Another 68 people received TORs after choosing not to wear a seatbelt which carries a potential £100 fine.

Twenty people received TORs for not being in control of their vehicle with garners three points and £100 fine, and twelve people were stopped for speeding.

Operation Edward is part of a wider national initiative know as Operation Tramline.

PS Carl Stafford said “This is sadly only a snapshot of the week’s findings and unfortunately demonstrates the real driver behaviours that are taking place on a daily basis on our roads.

“We will continue to proactively police Warwickshire’s roads including the M6, M40, M42 and M69 by looking for people that could pose serious danger to themselves and other road users. By stopping them and dealing with any offences we hope to change their behaviour and to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.”

Highways England Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator Marie Biddulph said: “It is disappointing that so many people were caught driving illegally and dangerously over the five days by our Operation Tramline supercabs. Particularly alarming is how many people still choose not to wear a seatbelt or will use their mobile phone at the wheel.

“We know that it is the minority of drivers that ignore the law but they are putting themselves and others at risk.

“Thanks to the elevated position in the HGV, our police partners are able to spot such dangerous drivers and to act as a deterrent to others. We are very grateful to Warwickshire Police for helping us improve safety on our roads.”

Operation Edward offences detected:

Mobile phone offences 41

Not in proper control 20

Not wearing a seatbelt 68

Speeding 12

Hard shoulder 8

Vehicle condition and use 13

Load safety 12

Driving without due care and attention 5

Other 9