In 2022, a van driver was caught on CCTV driving with both hands off the wheel on the M62 and holding a mug of tea in his hands. As you might be able to guess, this is an offence, and he received three penalty points on his license and was fined £100. Now that the case has been finalised, it can be shared as a warning to anyone else thinking about committing the same crime.
Caught No Handed
In Merseyside and Hull, the combined police forces of Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester, as well as the port police from Liverpool, will take turns using unmarked HGV vehicles to catch bad driving. Although they haven’t been on the road for some time, the vehicles, affectionately dubbed the super cabs, are making their return to the M62 in October 2023. The official police operation has been named Operation Pennine and is run in conjunction with National Highways. These high-tech vehicles act as remote eyes and help the police see into the cabs of HGV vehicles as they drive past them.
The aim is not just to spoil people's fun, but a much more serious focus is on reducing the number of deaths and injuries on our nation's roads. The target is 50% less across the UK by 2025. Lisa Scott, who is the Northwest regional manager for National Highways, said, “Some drivers are putting themselves and others at risk through using mobile phones, driving without a seatbelt or even handling a boiling hot drink at the wheel. Those who continue to pose a risk should be aware that we are working with our police partners to make sure they are spotted and prevented from causing serious harm to themselves or others."
Supported by the Police and TyreSafe
The operation is fully supported by the police, and a spokesperson for Merseyside police, Sergeant Garreth Berry, spoke of how important it is for operations like Operation Pennine to ensure that we keep our roads safe. “These offences are a major contributory factor in killed or serious injuries on our roads." Taking things one step further, national highways have also arranged for TyreSafe to be at various service stations on the M62 of the vehicle and tyre checks to anyone pulling in. Checking the tyres is something that we should all do before undertaking a long journey, but very often, it doesn’t happen. Speaking for TyreSafe, the chair, Stuart Lovatt said, "Many are guilty of taking their safety on the roads for granted and... TyreSafe is all too aware that includes pre-journey tyre checks. We encourage all road users to ACT - check Air pressure, Condition, and Tread depth."