South Yorkshire Police operation identifies 18 drivers using mobile phone behind wheel
A South Yorkshire Police operation led to 18 drivers being caught using a mobile phone while behind the wheel.
In a week of action aimed at the drivers of commercial vehicles, including lorries and vans, Highways England provided South Yorkshire Police with an unmarked HGV tractor unit which allowed officers to see inside vehicles from greater height.Designated checkpoints were also set up to check that vehicles were legal and safe to be on the roads.
Sergeant Bruce Yacomeni said: “Those using vehicles for commercial purposes have laws that they must adhere to for everyone’s safety on our roads.
“Restrictions on weight are law for a reason, weight has a significant impact on your braking distances and the way in which a vehicle moves and handles should sudden reactions be required
“Load safety and driving hour restrictions are in place for everyone’s safety; the driver and other road users. Those who fall asleep behind the wheel or have slow reaction times are at a higher chance of causing serious injury.”
During the week long operation 150 vehicles were stopped, with 120 offences recorded.
Sgt Yacomeni added: “Some of the worst vehicles we have seen this week include those up to 43 per cent overweight, including recovery trucks, vehicles being driven in dangerous condition including an insecure bonnet and cracked windscreen and drivers not completing Tachographs - a device used to monitor drivers’ hours.
“With the use of the tractor unit we witnessed over 48 drivers driving while not wearing a seat belt, 18 driving whist using their mobile phone and 12 found to not be in proper control of their vehicle.
“We know we say it over and over again but simple steps when you get in your vehicle can save lives; put your seatbelt on, put your phone away, don’t speed and ensure you’re following laws surrounding your vehicle’s use.
“We will proactively and robustly deal with those who cause or have potential to cause harm to our communities. Our officers patrol 24 hours a day, seven days a week across South Yorkshire.”
Sarah Watson-Quirk, Highways England Regional Road Safety Coordinator, said: “Unfortunately around 450 people are killed or seriously injured every year on England’s motorways and major A roads as a result of a driver being impaired or distracted.”