Shocking footage of a lorry driver using a credit card to make a payment on his phone on the M40 near Leamington has been released as part of a campaign to raise wareness of the dangers of using mobiles at the wheel.
The footage was released at the same time as a week of action to improve safety on the M1 helped to reduce collisions by almost a third.
The number of incidents during the Highways England initiative fell from 90 collisions during the previous week to 64 during the week of action.
The M1 safety week, which took place between Monday 13 and Sunday 19 May, also recorded the fourth lowest number of collisions of 2019 and second lowest outside school holidays.
The week saw all three of Highways England’s unmarked HGV supercabs take to the M1 to capture dangerous driving, with nearly 200 vehicles being pulled over by police officers during the week – including 42 in the Midlands. Almost half of those stopped in the region were not wearing seatbelts.
Highways England’s traffic officers also joined forces with the emergency services to provide free tyre checks and safety tips to hundreds of drivers at motorway services along the M1.
The HGV supercabs, which are funded by Highways England, allow police officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles, and drivers are then pulled over by police cars following a short distance behind.
They have derestricted speed limiters which mean they can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit, and flashing lights have been installed for use by police forces in an emergency.
The supercabs were used by six police forces during the M1 week of action to record nearly 200 offences. They included 57 drivers on mobile phones, 37 not wearing seatbelts and 26 who were driving carelessly or not in proper control of their vehicles.
Police officers filed 133 traffic offence reports – usually requiring drivers to attend a driver education course – and there were also five prosecutions for more serious offences.
One of the HGV supercabs was manned by Northamptonshire Police and patrolled between junctions 15 (Northampton) and 23a (Castle Donington) over two days. Forty-two vehicles were caught committing traffic offences.
These included nine drivers using a mobile phone and 24 not wearing their seatbelts. Officers filed 38 traffic offence reports.