Posted on Monday 20th November 2023 in Business, Data, Drivers, Education and Training

Between Monday 13th and Friday 17th October officers from Surrey’s Vanguard Road Safety Team worked collaboratively with Surrey and Sussex’s Roads Policing Unit, Commercial Vehicle Unit and Road Safety Partnerships (Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and Surrey Road Safe) to carry out a special operation targeting distracted drivers across the  A3, M25, A23 and M23.

Since 2015, National Highways has been collaborating with the Police at a national level to target dangerously driven commercial vehicles, other high sided vehicles, and private cars to improve compliance and to reduce the number of incidents caused by unsafe driver behaviour.

Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads every day and the vast majority are sensible behind the wheel but some are putting themselves and others at risk. 

Officers were using one of the HGV ‘supercabs,’ which was loaned to the force by National Highways. Whilst one officer was behind the wheel of the HGV, another was in the passenger seat watching out for dangerous or distracted driving and recording footage of incidents giving cause for concern.

The ‘observer’ then relayed information to a further police vehicle travelling behind, which intercepted and indicated to the driver to pull over. The officers were looking to identify and prevent offences as part of the operation to reduce collisions and improve road safety, journey times, and the reliability of motorways and major roads.

The elevated position of the HGV cabs allows police forces to drive alongside vehicles to film any unsafe driver behaviour taking place. Since the initiative began Operation Tramline has stopped over 30,000 vehicles resulting in more than 33,000 offences. The top three offences detected through Operation Tramline are: 1. Mobile phone use 2. Seat belt offences 3. Driver not in proper control. To find out more about Op Tramline head over to our Partners at National Highways.

Operation Tramline is supporting Highways England’s road safety Key Performance Indicator (KPI) target of a decrease of at least 40% in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the strategic road network. The contract for the unmarked HGV cab national project aims to change driver behaviour and discourage non-compliance.

– 228 offences were detected over the week
– 804 endorsement points, £26,800 in fines for mobile phone offences
– 27 tickets given for not wearing a seatbelt
– 12 tickets for crossing solid hatched areas
– 17 drivers reported for due care or not being in proper control
– 2 driver arrested for driving under the influence of drink or drugs
– 10 vehicles were seized due to the lack of insurance or licence.

Surrey Road Safe (SRS) released footage from the week of enforcement which can be viewed on X.

What the Highway Code says

Using a phone, sat nav or other device when driving:
It’s illegal to hold and use a phone, sat nav, tablet, or any device that can send or receive data, while driving or riding a motorcycle.
Using mobile phones while driving – the law.

Dangerous driving:
You must not:
– drive dangerously
– drive without due care and attention
– drive without reasonable consideration for other road users
(Rule 144)

Avoiding distractions
Safe driving and riding needs concentration. Avoid distractions when driving or riding such as:
– loud music (this may mask other sounds)
– trying to read maps
– starting or adjusting any music or radio
– arguing with your passengers or other road users
– eating and drinking
– smoking
Driving requires focus and attention at all times. Remember, you may be driving dangerously or travelling too fast even if you don’t mean to (Rule 148).