The safety initiative known as Operation Tramline has highlighted just how much work is still needed to improve health and safety on the country’s roads.
Through this initiative, three Highways England supercabs have been patrolling motorways and major A roads throughout the country, and have been utilised by 29 police forces over the last year.
Evidence of unsafe driving behaviour has been filmed by police officers as a result of Operation Tramline, as officers can use the supercabs to pull up alongside vehicles; drivers are then pulled over by the police.
The findings from Operation Tramline are certainly troubling; drivers of cabs have been found using their mobile phones with no hands at the wheel, and in one case, a trucker was seen holding his credit card and phone in each hand.
All told, the cabs, funded by Highways England, found evidence of more than 3,000 dangerous drivers on the roads.
The cabs have travelled for thousands of miles since they took to the roads 12 months ago, and police officers inside these vehicles have recorded in excess of 3,500 offences.
Approximately one in three drivers filmed breaking the law had somebody not wearing a seatbelt in their vehicles; more than 1,000 instances of people using mobile phones were recorded; this is a particular blight, with figures revealing mobile phone usage is a factor for one death on the roads every 12 days.
More than 250 people were deemed not to be in proper control of their vehicle, while 118 were caught speeding.
Penalty notices were handed out and traffic offence reports required drivers to attend education courses.
More serious offences were dealt with via prosecution.
Tom Cotton, Road Haulage Association’s head of licencing and infrastructure policy, said: “We need to improve road safety – there’s a small minority of drivers whose actions endanger road users often with tragic consequences.”
These findings also highlight the reason why approaches such as Vision Zero are taken so seriously.