Truck drivers targeted

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AN AWARENESS campaign aimed at motorists of large goods vehicles will hit the roads this month.

Operation Riding High will see officers from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU) patrol in an unmarked tractor unit.

The operation was hailed a success last year when 14 drivers were given:

• Fixed penalty notices for not wearing their seatbelts

• A fixed penalty issued to a driver for using a mobile phone while driving

• One driver given 14 days to 
rectify a defect with their vehicle and produce proof of this at a police station.

Officers say the loan of the tractor allows them to clear see those who are committing offences at the wheel and can film to use as evidence in court.

The move also comes following a series of fatal and serious collisions involving large goods vehicles.

Nationally, Department for Transport figures show that although goods vehicles account for only 10 per cent of all motorway traffic, they are involved in nearly a third of all collisions.

Pc Iain Turner said: “Officers will 
focus on offences including driving whilst on the phone, not wearing a 
seatbelt, tailgating and driving whilst not in proper control of a vehicle.

“They will also be raising awareness of certain issues which are proven to be contributory factors in collisions, such as checking blind spots thoroughly.”

Officers will also be informing the relevant authority of any offences, which could result in the driver having to attend a driver conduct hearing, which could see their vocational licence suspended.