You’ve heard of unmarked police cars, but what about an unmarked HGV? 2014 saw a substantial 13% rise in the number of deaths on our roads and experts are placing heavy blame on the use of smartphones behind the wheel.
Despite it putting lives at risk and the threat of three penalty points and a fine of up to £1000, it still hasn’t deterred motorists from using their phones whilst sat in the driver’s seat and the Highways Agency and police are now looking at new methods to catch offenders – with an unmarked police lorry being a possible solution.
After a successful period of testing in the South where 462 offences were detected, the scheme (nicknamed the ‘Spy HGV’) is going to be shared by a number of forces across the country over the course of a year, with operations starting as soon as March.
Thanks to the current roadwork’s and heavy congestion, we understand the M60 is going to be the first area to receive the Spy HGV, manned by the Greater Manchester Police.
Renting the HGV, the Highways Agency is working in partnership with police to improve safety and tackle congestion on the UK’s road networks. Staffing the lorry and it’s ‘look out’ to spot and record activity, the GMP Traffic team will also have a police car on standby to pull over any offenders.
Of course the HGV isn’t purely for catching drivers on their mobile phones as the initial objective was to monitor other lorry drivers offending on our roads. However, the bird’s eye view offered the perfect opportunity to catch motorists texting and using their phones as well as keeping an eye out for those speeding, hogging the middle lane and failing to wear a seatbelt.
Last month we reported on the new hidden speed cameras that are making their way up and down the country, catching motorists travelling over the 70mph speed limit. Causing quite the debate online, the general opinion saw the cameras as a money making scam.
So, what are your thoughts on this new operation? Good idea or a terrible waste of money when you weigh up the costs of rental and staffing?