Exclusive: Bus is just the ticket for traffic cops

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We've all heard of police forces using unmarked cars to catch law-breaking drivers, but now motorists in one city will need to look out for undercover buses too.

Traffic officers from Hampshire Constabulary revealed to AOL Cars that they've used an undercover single decker bus in recent months to spot drivers breaking the law in Portsmouth.

Cruising along in bus lanes across the city, officers used the elevated driving position to peer down into cars.

They filmed drivers using their mobile phones, peeling fruit and even reading a newspaper.

Inspector Kirsty Shannon exclusively told AOL Cars: "We pulled up alongside one motorist at a set of lights who unfolded his newspaper and started to read. Another did the same thing and started to do the crossword. Drivers should be alert at traffic lights.

"Another motorist was operating the steering wheel with her wrists as she unpeeled an orange with both hands while driving along the road."

Insp Shannon, who is charge of roads policing in the area, explained that one of her officers - who held the appropriate licence - drove the bus as others kept an eye on the motorists as they passed.

"It gave us a good opportunity to catch those using bus lanes who shouldn't," added Insp Shannon.

"We were lent the vehicle by the local bus company and it worked out well as drivers didn't expect it to be full of traffic police officers!"

The bus revelation follows a number of clever initiatives by traffic officers as they attempt to catch those driving without due care and attention.

Earlier this year, one force even used an undercover HGV to catch lorry drivers misbehaving.

South Yorkshire Police deployed the unmarked lorry in a campaign dubbed Jemma Bear, which was supported by the family of Jemma O'Sullivan who was killed when a lorry driver who was sending a text message crashed into her car.