Unmarked police lorry used to patrol Kent’s roads
PUBLISHED: 14:47 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:10 17 May 2013
Latest tool in fight against dangerous driving
Kent Police has unveiled its latest secret weapon in the bid to keep the county’s roads safe - an unmarked police lorry.
The HGV has uniformed police riding in the cab and allows them to peer into fellow lorries and nab those breaking the law.
Used occasionally throughout the year, the trial this week saw a number of truckers caught out.
Most offences were for not wearing a seatbelt but there were a significant number of “in-cab distractions” such as using a mobile phone and not being in proper control. In addition, there were many vehicle defects and lorries that were dangerously overweight.
One person driving a low loader laden with large plant was caught talking on a mobile phone and failing to wear his seatbelt. He tried to get off the motorway to evade capture, but officers caught him.
The enforcement initiative was first undertaken by Kent Police two years ago. It was so successful that several are now held each year.
Roads policing unit inspector, Paul Sellwood, said: “One offence on a busy road is one too many.
“Most of the offences committed distract drivers and when those drivers are in charge of a large and powerful lorry the consequences to other motorists, as well as themselves, can be a lot more devastating than in a smaller vehicle.
“For instance, when a heavy vehicle hits a stationary car on the hard shoulder or in a tailback the consequences are quite often fatal.
“Even in wet, windy or foggy weather, many drivers continue to allow themselves to be distracted by phones and maps.
“But if we have prevented one fatal collision and saved one family from losing a loved one, we will have achieved our goal.
“All drivers should be warned that we constantly police the roads. Vehicles are dangerous weapons, especially when drivers are distracted. Those who think it’s okay to use a mobile phone, to make or receive a call, or to text, should think again. Being distracted significantly increases the chance of being involved in a collision. We take a robust approach to law breakers and we will stop anyone breaking the law.”