Man caught driving 44 tonne HGV on M4 using two mobile phones – one to each ear

man caught driving 44 tonne hgv on m4 using two mobile phones one to each ear - Man caught driving 44 tonne HGV on M4 using two mobile phones - one to each ear

Police stopped a man driving a 44 tonne HGV on the M4 using two mobile phones – one to each ear.

He was just one of 409 motorists pulled over by officers during a special police operation last week across Avon and Somerset.

Another motorist was caught holding a mobile phone with their right little finger touching the bottom of the steering wheel and their other hand nowhere near the wheel, on the M4 motorway.

Officers found 51 people not wearing seatbelts, 11 illegally using a mobile phone while driving, seven speeders and five driving without due care and attention.

Four drivers will now appear before magistrates.

Chief Inspector Jason Shears, Roads Policing Lead for Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Driving whilst distracted is every bit as unacceptable as drink driving and just as likely to be fatal.

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“Research has shown that drivers using a phone – handheld or hands free – are four times more likely to be involved in a collision and their driving is also impaired to a degree similar to that of a drink driver.

“Distraction driving is a top concern for motorists and we are committed to tackling it. Fortunately, we have the majority of the public behind us, many of whom are submitting footage of offences to us via our website. This means that anyone could be capturing evidence of offending that could be used to prosecute a phone-using or otherwise distracted driver, so the chances of being caught are now much higher.

“Safety on the roads of Avon and Somerset is our road policing unit’s absolute priority and we will not hesitate to use every option open to us, including the deployment of a range of unmarked vehicles, to tackle dangerous and anti-social driving habits.”

Driver distractions is one of the ‘Fatal Five’ main causes of serious injuries and death on the roads, alongside driving under the influence of drink or drugs, excess or inappropriate speeds, the failure to wear seatbelts and careless or inconsiderate driving, police say.

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Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I am fully supportive of Op Tramline and the targeting of offenders whose actions are putting lives at risk. The offences captured by Avon and Somerset Police’s Road Policing Unit are appalling, unacceptable and dangerous.

“The minority who use mobile phones and tablets or become distracted by sat navs are not just putting themselves in danger but others around them.

“We all know the risks when looking away from the road to change music or to check text messages, and the solution is simple; do not take the risk and instead keep focused. If you are caught looking at your phone or tablet while driving, you will be prosecuted.”

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