Police take to unmarked HGVs to spot motoring offences
Rui Vieira/PA WIRE
If the introduction of a new generation of 'stealth' speed cameras on Britain's motorways wasn't enough, the police have announced they are to start using unmarked HGV cabs to better spy on drivers.
Kicking off in the spring, the new initiative will see police officers patrolling major transport routes nationwide in high-riding lorry cabs, which will give them a better vantage point to observe the behaviour of drivers in all manner of different vehicles.
Next to the driver will be another officer toting a video camera, to collect evidence of drivers' misdemeanours. The undercover lorries will be tailed by a support team consisting of a marked patrol car and a brace of police outriders, which can be used to pull over suspect cars.
It isn't just major offences the undercover teams will be looking out for, with hundreds of drivers expected to be prosecuted for a variety of crimes, including speeding, lane hogging, using a mobile phone and failing to wear a seatbelt.
The scheme will operate nationwide from March 30, after a successful three-month trial in five counties last year. The lorries are being provided by the Highways Agency and will be rotated between England's 45 police forces.
A Highways Agency spokesman said: "The aim of extending the project to a national initiative is not revenue generation but to improve driver behaviour."
Motoring organisations have welcomed the initiative. Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, told Auto Express: "This is less an eye in the sky and more surveillance six feet up. Rooting out bad and anti-social behaviour is important.
"Now motorists who are tempted to break the law are likely to have traffic officers peering right over their shoulders."
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