OP TRAMLINE: Fatal Four offences targeted with help from specialist HGV

Cumbria Constabulary ran a five-day road safety operation last week using a specially equipped HGV.


Op Tramline caught more than a dozen drivers using their mobile phone at the wheel, as well as drivers over the limit for drink or drugs, speeding drivers and a disqualified driver.


The operation came during the month-long national Fatal Four campaign targeting the ‘Fatal Four’ traffic offences which are so commonly a factor in serious and deadly road traffic collisions – speeding, using a mobile phone at the wheel, not wearing a seatbelt and driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs.


Operation Tramline was run in partnership with National Highways. Use of the HGV allows officers to spot driving offences from an elevated position.


The officers used the vehicle to pull up alongside other vehicles and gather video footage of offences being committed.


In total the officers recorded 31 offences:

  • 14 mobile phone offences
  • 2 speeding offences
  • 2 over the limit for drink or drugs
  • 3 for no insurance
  • 1 for driving without due care
  • 1 disqualified driver
  • 2 for no MOT
  • 2 for no Tax
  • 3 for other Traffic Offence Reports (TORs)
  • 1 following a road traffic collision


Sergeant Jack Stabler of Cumbria Constabulary said: “We are fortunate to have secured use of the vehicle during the national Fatal Four campaign, helping us to further target those drivers whose behaviour behind the wheel is putting people’s lives at risk.


“The majority of the offences identified were people making a conscious decision to put their own well-being and the well-being of other road users at risk – from choosing to reach for their phone whilst driving to making the decision to get behind the wheel whilst disqualified.


“Cumbria Police, via its Roads Policing Unit, will continue to target such drivers as we work with our partners to help make the county’s roads as safe as they can possibly be for everyone.”


The Constabulary plan to conduct more Op Tramline operations in the future, to catch drivers wilfully putting themselves and other road users at risk.


It is illegal to hold and use any hand-held mobile phone device whilst driving. The law still applies if you’re stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic or supervising a learner driver. Failure to comply can land you with a £200 fine and six points on your licence.


This means you should not use a device in your hand for any reason; this includes:


  • Illuminating the screen


  • Checking the time


  • Checking notifications


  • Unlocking the device


  • Making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or internet based call


  • Sending, receiving or uploading oral or written content


  • Sending, receiving or uploading a photo or video


  • Utilising camera, video, or sound recording functionality


  • Drafting any text


  • Accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages


  • Accessing an application (such as Sat Nav or music)


  • Accessing the internet

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