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New breed of police patrol vehicle records 3,500 offences over 12 months | UK News

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A new breed of police patrol vehicle has captured thousands of driving offenders that might otherwise have gone undetected.

Highways England introduced the so-called ‘supercabs’ a year ago and says they are making a big difference particularly on high-speed roads.

Among the culprits caught red-handed by the new lorry cabs was one trucker travelling at speed with a mobile phone in one hand and a credit card in the other.

HGV supercabs used by police patrols are capturing thousands of driving offenders
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Caught red-handed: A trucker with a mobile phone in one hand and a credit card in the other

The supercabs give police officers the height they need to see inside other vehicles. Twenty-nine forces have used them over the past 12 months. They recorded more than 3,500 offences.

Travelling along the M5, West Mercia police officer Dan Evans told Sky News: “When lorry drivers see another cab pulling alongside them they often do a double take when they see a police officer. Being able to see them and film them clearly breaking the law provides a great advantage when it comes to proving their guilt.”

HGV supercabs used by police patrols are capturing thousands of driving offenders. McCarthy VT
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Sky’s Mike McCarthy goes on the road with officers in a supercab

The patrol cabs were introduced following a sharp increase in the number of lorry crashes. HGVs make up approximately 10% of all traffic but are involved in 20% of fatal crashes on A roads.

Head of road safety at Highways England Richard Leonard said: “Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads every day and the vast majority are sensible behind the wheel but some are putting themselves and others at risk.

“We introduced the three new HGV supercabs last year to help keep the roads safe and tackle dangerous driving by people who have either got into bad habits, or are simply ignoring the law.”

HGV supercabs used by police patrols are capturing thousands of driving offenders. McCarthy VT
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Twenty-nine forces have used HGV cabs over the past 12 months

Despite being stopped by police for not wearing a seatbelt, one lorry driver told Sky News: “I think it should be a personal choice. If you want to wear a seatbelt wear one, if you don’t… don’t wear one.”

Mr Leonard said there appears to be a new wave of complacency surrounding seatbelts.

“We need to reinforce the message about risk. People often think that they wont have an accident but it can happen… it takes one collision for you to have a fatal casualty on your hands,” he said.

Throughout this week the supercabs are being used to improve safety on the M1. Highways England and emergency services staff will provide free tyre checks and safety tips at motorway services.

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