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Operation Pennine to tackle unsafe driving on northern motorways


The unwitting road user below was filmed on the M6 in Cheshire last summer as part of Operation Tramline – a multi-agency initiative to make our motorways safer using unmarked cabs operated by police. He can be seen sipping from a mug of tea and removing his hands from the wheel before a police officer tells him to concentrate on driving.

He was issued a traffic offence report for not being in proper control of his vehicle. This resulted in three points being added to his licence and a £100 fine.

Police in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Hull and Liverpool Ports Police will once again be using National Highways’ unmarked HGV cabs in a bid to reduce and prevent accidents on the road network. The aim of the multi-agency Month of Action on the M62 – dubbed Operation Pennine – is to reduce the number of incidents on the motorway.

Operation Pennine launched on Friday 29 September and will continue throughout the month of October. Hundreds of thousands of drivers travel on the M62 every day and in 2022 there were 28,607 incidents on the M62.

Of those 28,607 incidents, 1,651 were traffic collisions. In 2022, West Yorkshire Police recorded 105 people not wearing a seatbelt while driving on the M62, 99 people using their mobile phone at the wheel and 32 drivers not in proper control of their vehicle. Officers also stopped 279 people for speeding.

During the same year, Merseyside police found 30 people to not be wearing a seatbelt, 59 using mobile phone and eight people not in proper control of their vehicle. A further 140 people were found to have been speeding.

Officers in the cabs will be looking out for similar incidents of illegal driving – such as this driver who was spotted at the wheel of a lorry without his seatbelt on.


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