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Over 300 offences detected in week long operation

Police in Norfolk stopped 254 vehicles and detected more than 300 offences, after targeting drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) as part of a week-long operation supported by National Highways.

Operation Tramline saw police provided with an HGV tractor unit by National Highways (formerly Highways England), which allowed officers to carry out patrols across the county’s strategic road network and focus on offences committed by lorry drivers.  

The initiative took place between Monday 17 October and Friday 21 October and involved officers from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, with enforcement taking place on the A47, A11 and A17.

The HGV tractor unit - which was driven by a police officer - provides an ideal vantage point meaning officers can look directly into the cabs of other lorry drivers, whilst also dealing with any offending motorists driving vans or cars too. Supporting police officers are then on hand to pull-over any offenders.

A total of 254 vehicles were stopped, including 48 HGVs, 103 LGVs and 97 smaller goods vehicles.

316 offences were detected and the drivers in question were issued with Traffic Offence Reports (TORs), some having committed more than one offence. 

These offences include:

  • 32 x Using a mobile phone
  • 5 x not in proper control
  • 88 x not wearing a seatbelt
  • 10 x speeding
  • 3 x no insurance
  • 118 x construction and use
  • 7 x driving without due care and attention
  • 49 x insecure loads
  • 1 x drink/drug driving
  • 3 x other

Officers issued 262 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs), arrested one person, and issued words of advice to 13 drivers. Three vehicles were seized and four drivers were dealt with through rectification notices. Five drivers were referred to the Traffic Commissioner.

Sergeant Jordan Pokorny, of the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “The volume of offences recorded during this operation are incredibly disappointing. It also highlights the necessity for weeks such as this.”

“41% of drivers were dealt with for fatal four offences. Considering the amount of time and resources that are dedicated to tackling the fatal four offences (using a mobile phone, speeding, driving whilst under the influence of drink and drugs and not wearing a seatbelt) it is truly shocking. These types of offences can have devastating consequences and have the potential to ruin lives.”

“We will continue to crack down on these dangerous drivers who are often in control of the biggest and therefore potentially most dangerous vehicles on the roads and conduct these operations to highlight the dangers and prevent further incidents.”

“We would like to thank National Highways for providing the HGV tractor as the elevated cab meant that we were able to spot these offences a lot easier, whatever vehicle was being driven.”

Inspector Simon Jones added: “This week of action aims to open the eyes of drivers who continue to put both themselves and other road users at risk.”

“This type of operation shows that you never know when you are being monitored for illegal activities behind the wheel. You could be stopped at any point and will face punishment”

“I would like to thank the team for their hard work and for making this a very successful operation.”

Regional Safety Programme Manager for National Highways in the East of England, Chris Smith, said: “When the majority of people get behind the wheel they drive safely and sensibly, but unfortunately a small minority think the rules don’t apply to them and their selfish actions endanger the lives of others on the road network. 

“Working with our police partners in Norfolk and using the unique perspective we get from the ‘supercab’, we are able to target those individuals with officers taking enforcement action where they believe it is appropriate.

“We use the supercab across the country as a means of highlighting bad habits that put other road users in danger. Whatever vehicle you are in, please think about your behaviour when you get behind the wheel and help us make sure everyone gets home safe and well.” 

Giles Orpen Smellie, Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner said: “It’s astonishing that anyone should drive with such thoughtless and reckless behaviour on our highways let alone be responsible for a larger goods vehicle. Regular patrols such as Operation Tramline should give the public the reassurance they expect, that drivers not adhering to the law will be caught. I fully support our police colleagues in tackling this type of crime to make the county a safer place.

“I’d also like to thank National Highways for making this type of detection practice a reality.”