HGV Truck Helps Catch Criminals

In an interesting and fairly unique turn of events, police officers in the Northamptonshire area have started using an unmarked truck cab as a way of recording driving offences committed along the M1. Using the cab, there have been 179 offences recorded and marked by the police for later judgement. 

A Collaboration Of Authority

The cab itself is something which is on loan from national highways. It spent 5 days earlier in the year patrolling the stretch of motorway which was between junctions 15 and 18. The data which was produced was interesting to take a look at. The police found that 58 people were seen to not be wearing a seat belt while they were driving their car. An additional 46 people were seen to be using their mobile phone while they were driving. Furthermore, police said that one man was driving a mobile crane that he didn’t have a permit for.

A Specific Goal

On the surface, the purpose of the operation was simple enough - the police wanted to target the “fatal five” offences, which were basically those offences which were responsible for the most deaths and/or serious injuries when driving. These include things like careless driving behind the wheel, excessive use of speed, not wearing a seat belt, using a mobile phone when driving, and also driving under the influence of something like drugs or alcohol. 

The cab which was used is not like other cabs. It has a non-restricted speed limiter, which means that it can travel at speeds which meet the National speed limit, and also has lights which can be used to signal an emergency. The cab would pull up alongside the offending vehicle to record footage needed to offer a criminal charge where necessary. The drivers got punishments depending on the crime - some got a fixed penalty, and other cases had to go through the court system. 

20 drivers were spotted for having illegal window tints and number plates. Of these people, a further six people were reported for either dangerous, insecure or a tonal loads. PC Mo Allsopp-Clarke, who is part of the Northamptonshire Police's safer roads team, had this to say:“It is always disappointing to find so many drivers prepared to put their livelihoods at risk for the sake of not wearing a seat belt or checking their mobile phones."

Regardless of the approach that was taken, it’s clear that it showcased a lot of incorrect behaviours among motorists. Evidently, these motorists need to practice better driving skills, and hopefully the punishments that they have been given will help them to realise this and make sensible decisions moving forward.

It’s possible that most schemes like this will be rolled out in other parts of the UK to catch and dissuade drivers from committing crimes, but only time will tell. In the end, it’s all about making the roads a safer place for everybody, and if this is how it has to be, then this is how it has to be.