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Tackling dangerous drivers has been taken to a whole new level – with the use of this patrol lorry on the M6 motorway.

Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Wasim Ali was invited to see for himself the type of dangerous acts carried out by drivers across the West Midlands.

It was all part of National Highways’ week of action on the M6 to catch drivers out from where they least expect it – the cab of a lorry.

Dubbed Operation Vertebrae, some of the dangerous acts seen include one driver peeling an apple with a knife, another eating his lunch and many more using mobile phones or not wearing seatbelts.

During a two hour operation, Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Wasim Ali saw for himself how drivers are risking the lives of both themselves and others by using mobile phones at the wheel and not using seatbelts.

He said: “I was delighted to be invited out on this operation with the police and the work they are doing is absolutely amazing.

“We were out in the lorry with four response cars and the great thing about the cab is, you can drive right up to the offenders and film them in the act while they are totally unaware you are there watching.

“This kind of work will be saving lives by stopping this incredibly dangerous behaviour and preventing accidents which can bring the whole motorway system to a halt.

“I really do hope we see more operations such as this, organised by National Highways – it was really excellent policing.”

National Highways Head of Road Safety, Jeremy Phillips, said: “Through this week of action we wantet to make all of our roads safer by raising awareness and encouraging motorists to consider their driving behaviour – not only on the M6 but on all of our roads.

“Working together with our road safety partners, we are spreading our safety messages and raising awareness that those who put themselves and others at risk can expect to be spotted. Operation Tramline enables our partners in enforcement agencies to identify that high-risk minority and take action to bring their behaviours in line with the safe and law-abiding majority.

“The types of behaviour identified are typically those of a minority of motorists and whilst the number of people still using their mobile phone at the wheel or not wearing a seatbelt is disappointing, thanks to the Tramline HGVs we’ve been able to stop people who could have caused serious harm on the road.”

Operation Vertebrae HGV tractor units, funded by National Highways and used by partner police forces, aim to change driver behaviour and encourage compliance with driving laws 

That is why National Highways – previously Highways England – introduced the three HGV supercabs and are working with our police partners across the country to tackle dangerous driving such as illegally using mobile phones, not wearing seatbelts or ignoring red X signs. 

Operation Vertebrae targets all vehicles on our roads as from the elevated position in the cab, officers can see offences being committed whatever vehicle the culprit is driving.

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