Operation Tramline Yields 107 Offences in 4 Days on M40 and M42 in Warwickshire

In a recent campaign of Operation Tramline, conducted between November 6 and 9, 2023, on the M40 and M42 in Warwickshire, law enforcement officers identified a total of 107 offences. The traffic spying sting is carried out using a National Highways-owned supercab Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV); officers patrolled the motorways, taking advantage of the elevated position of the cab to observe and address various driver behaviours across all types of vehicles.

A Whopping 107 Offences

The operation revealed a concerning tally of 107 offences, with a significant focus on the 'Fatal 4,' which are what the police deem to be the four most hazardous driving behaviours. Notably, 80 drivers were found engaging in one or more of these 'Fatal 4' activities during the operation.

The enforcement action brought attention to 27 drivers caught using handheld mobile phones while driving at speeds of up to 70mph. Remarkably, among them was a tanker driver who was totally engrossed in watching moving footage on his screen.

The second sin also revealed worrying results, with 31 drivers or their passengers not wearing their seatbelts, which is dangerous at any speed but perhaps more so on a motorway.

The scourge of speeding was also evident, with 21 drivers detected exceeding speed limits, including one alarming case where a driver reached a staggering 97mph on the M40. The operation also addressed seven instances of drivers not maintaining proper control of their vehicles, two cases of driving without due care and attention, and four cases of driving without insurance, resulting in the seizure of four vehicles.

Drivers Received Penalties

The vehicles, as well as the behaviour of drivers, were looked at, leading to two drivers receiving Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) for construction and use violations and three drivers receiving TORs for insecure loads.

Out of the 95 drivers dealt with by officers—comprising 35 Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers, 10 Light Goods Vehicle (LGV) drivers, and 50 car drivers—42 were issued Traffic Offence Reports, and one driver received a Graduated Fixed Penalty—the remaining 50 received words of advice from the officers.

Reflecting on the operation, Sergeant Scott Good emphasised the positive observations, noting the encouraging adherence to safety measures by many drivers, especially HGV drivers. He commended those who were driving responsibly, reminding people of the potential harm that large vehicles can inflict on other road users in the event of a collision.

Expressing a preference for education over enforcement, Sergeant Good stated that officers aim to influence behavioural changes through initiatives like Operation Tramline, pushing the importance of staying attentive on the road to prevent crashes. He urged drivers in Warwickshire to be vigilant, as the Operational Patrol Unit (OPU) officers would soon be back on the roads and motorways in the vicinity, promoting road safety and responsible driving.