A roads policing operation involving officers driving an unmarked HGV to identify offences on the M4 saw 83 drivers stopped and dealt with for various offences in just three days.

Operation Tramline is a joint initiative between National Highways and NRPOI (National Roads Policing Operations and Intelligence).

Over three days last week, officers from our Roads Policing Unit worked with members of the Special Constabulary Road Safety Unit on the M4 stretch between junction 14 and junction 18 ensuring drivers of HGV’s in particular were driving within the law.

In total, 83 offences mainly including mobile phone and seatbelt offences were detected.

PC Luke Hobbs said: “The HGV gives us an elevated view into vehicles using this busy stretch of road so we can better detect offences such as mobile phone use. Whilst the majority are law abiding drivers, it is always shocking to see just what some of these drivers think they can get away with – all whilst in control of a vehicle which can be up to 44 tonnes in weight with the potential to cause significant and serious harm to others.

“Last week alone, we saw drivers watching films on their phones or tablets whilst behind the wheel, overloaded vehicles which can pose a real danger to other road users, and drivers showing a complete disregard for the speed limit.”

A/Insp Will Ayres, of the Roads Policing Unit, added: “Operation Tramline is an excellent initiative which forms part of our commitment to keeping Wiltshire’s roads safe by targeting those committing fatal five offences – these are offences most likely to contribute to death and serious injury on the roads and include drink/drug driving, careless driving, driving at excess speed, driving without a seatbelt or using a mobile phone.

“This operation coincided with a trial of new Artificial Intelligence cameras provided by Acusensus, being rolled out by National Highways to spot drivers failing to wear seatbelts or using mobile phones. It is hoped the presence of these cameras will help enhance the work of our Roads Policing Unit and further reduce the number of individuals taking risks when driving and causing serious collisions. We are committed to trialling new innovative projects to keep the roads safe and make the road users of Wiltshire feel safer. ”

On Tuesday, the team were also joined by Philip Wilkinson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon.