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Police have caught over 60 drivers not wearing seatbelts as part of a week-long operation supported by National Highways

Police have been out on disguised patrols as part of a week-long operation supported by National Highways.

Norfolk officers stopped 147 vehicles and detected more than 180 offences after targeting drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Operation Tramline saw the police provided with a HGV tractor unit by National Highways which allowed officers to carry out patrols across the county’s roads and focus on offences committed by lorry drivers.

Police are cracking down on driving offences
Police are cracking down on driving offences

The initiative took place between Monday, March 18, and Friday, March 22, and involved officers from the Roads and Armed Policing Team, with enforcement taking place on the A47 and A11.

The HGV tractor unit - which was driven by a police officer - provided a vantage point meaning officers could look directly into the cabs of other lorry drivers, while also dealing with any offending motorists driving vans or cars.

They were looking for drivers failing to wear their seatbelts and behaviour which distracted their attention such as the use of mobile phones or watching videos.

Supporting police officers were then on hand to pull over any offenders.

A total of 147 vehicles were stopped, including 44 HGVs, 12 LGVs, two public service vehicles, and 86 private vehicles.

Three agricultural vehicles were stopped because of their drivers using a mobile phone.

A total of 181 offences were detected and the drivers in question were issued with Traffic Offence Reports (TORs), some having committed more than one offence.

These offences included:

- 62x no seatbelt

- 22x use of mobile phone

- 20x construction and use

- 8x insecure load

- 7x driving without due care

- 6x speeding

- 5x no insurance

- 2x drivers hours

- 1x not in proper control

- 1x crime

- 47x ‘other’, which could include illegal indow tint, registration plates, and overweight loads

Officers issued 126 TORs and issued words of advice to 21 drivers.

As well as 19 prohibition notices (PG9) being served, five drivers were referred to the Traffic Commissioner.

Sgt Ade Hales, of the joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “The sheer volume of drivers choosing not to wear a seatbelt whilst they are driving is incredibly worrying. It takes seconds and could save your life.

“People die as a result of not wearing a seatbelt, it is as simple as that.

“Working with National Highways on operations such as these allows for us to reduce the risk to the road users of Norfolk by removing the threat distracted drivers pose.

“We will continue to work to raise awareness and educate the public about the risks surrounding distracted driving.”

Lawrence Seager, safety programme manager for National Highways in the East of England, said: “Our goal, through operations like these, is to make our roads safer by encouraging road users to consider their driving behaviour.

“It is always disappointing when we witness drivers putting themselves and others at risk by their actions.

“Operation Tramline is an excellent example of collaborative working within the region that seeks to reduce collisions on Norfolk’s roads.”

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