Lorry driver caught rolling cigarette with no hands on the wheel on A19 during police operation

Police found a driver rolling a cigarette with no hands on the steering wheel of his van on a busy dual carriageway during a campaign to detect offences carried out by the drivers of large goods vehicles across Cleveland and Durham.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 15:00 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 10:36 am
Inspector Darren Breslin from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit.

The operation found 29 drivers committing offences during the five-day operation, including four drivers using a mobile phone while driving, one driver not in proper control of a vehicle and 23 drivers not wearing seatbelts.

Police forces use an unmarked tractor unit loaned to them by Highways England to make it easier for them to see into the cab of a large goods vehicle by being at the same level and therefore they can see any offences clearly.

The vehicle patrolled the roads across Cleveland and Durham for five days in April, and officers used a camera to film any offences, such as driving while on a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt.

Inspector Darren Breslin, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Having had previous successes using the unmarked tractor unit, we were pleased to take part in the operation again with the support of Highways England.

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“It is always disappointing to see drivers putting their own lives and the lives of other road users at risk. In cases where we see drivers putting lives at risk to roll a cigarette, it is exceptionally worrying. Vehicles such as heavy goods vehicles are significantly heavier and larger which mean that collisions could be more serious.

“Results such as these demonstrate that we have to continue with these operations, in order to continue to do everything possible to reduce the risk of serious harm and fatalities on our road networks.”