A RECORD-BREAKING 317 reckless drivers were caught in a single day using their phones, watching movies and not wearing seatbelts by an undercover police lorry patrol.
The law-breakers were captured on film by Warwickshire Police as part of Operation Tramline, a national campaign using HGVs to catch dangerous drivers in the act.
On November 13, the record 317 offences included 69 drivers using a mobile and 97 not wearing a seatbelt.
Police say that despite the pandemic reducing the volume of traffic on the roads, the number of reckless drivers being caught is ‘staggering’.
Officers nabbed a truck driver who had failed to strap down a tractor on his lorry. He was also playing on his phone and not wearing a seatbelt.
He was so distracted by his phone, he failed to notice the police lorry, despite it filming him for several minutes on the M40 at 60mph.
A driver in a Range Rover was caught using WhatsApp as he drifted onto the hard shoulder of the motorway.
Police also caught a trucker watching a video behind the wheel.
When the driver realised he had been caught red-handed, he brazenly gave officers a cheeky wave before being pulled over.
The HGV police unit also caught a motorist carrying 30 tonnes of bricks which were unsecured in the back of his truck.
The incidents were all recorded by officers patrolling the M40 and M42 in Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
Sgt Carl Stafford said: ‘Whilst this has been a record-breaking operation for offences detected by our officers, it has also been an extremely disappointing one, as even with a reduced amount of traffic from the current epidemic we are seeing an increase in offences.
‘The increase in mobile phone usage whilst driving has been staggering, despite all of the publicity and increase in penalties people are still selfishly putting themselves and others at risk by being distracted by their phones, exacerbated even more when in charge of heavy goods vehicles.
‘We also found that most of the drivers stopped with no seatbelt on actually made a conscious effort to fasten it behind them, I can’t comprehend the mentality of not using this non-intrusive device which is proven to save lives.’