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Unmarked 'supercabs' caught more 200 dangerous drivers

An unmarked HGV supercab has caught more than 200 dangerous drivers in Yorkshire.

And this week Highways England is sending three vehicles onto the M1 to spot drivers committing offences such as not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone, not being in proper control of a vehicle and speeding - the most common crimes on Yorkshire's motorways and major roads.

One super cab patrolling the north as part of the national safety initiative, named Operation Tram line, captured shocking footage of a pick-up truck driver with no hands on the wheel as he travelled along the M60 in Greater Manchester.

The eye-opening video shows the dangerous driver with both hands on his phone as he writes a text message.

The three Operation Tram line super cabs patrol motorways and major A roads and have been used by 29 police forces over the past year, including West Yorkshire police.

They allow police officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles, and drivers are then pulled over by police cars following a short distance behind.

The super cabs have a unrestricted speed limiter which means they can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit, and flashing lights have been installed for use by police forces in an emergency.

West Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Police will be taking part in the M1 week of action, which begins today.

Highways England’s traffic officers will also be joining forces with the emergency services from Monday to provide free tyre checks and safety tips to drivers at motorway services by the M1.

Highways England has released data on the most common offences in Yorkshire.

In the first year of Operation Tram line police officers in the region issued 89 penalty charge notices and filed 107 traffic offence reports – usually requiring drivers to attend a driver education course. There were also six prosecutions for more serious offences.

Nationally, around one in three of the drivers filmed breaking the law by the super cabs had someone in their vehicle not wearing a seat-belt, despite statistics showing that one in four people killed in car crashes in 2017 were not wearing seat belts.

Drivers illegally using a mobile phone while driving was the second most common offence captured by the cabs, with the latest figures showing that mobile phone use is a factor in one death on the roads every 12 days.

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