HGV Road Safety Project, ‘Operation Tramline’

Published Tue, 29/03/2016 - 10:30

Road safety initiative is extended across police forces in England Between February and April 2014

Highways England sourced a HGV tractor unit and partnered with police forces in South East England to pilot a unique motorway driver safety intervention named Operation Tramline. The initiative was designed to help the Police identify and record potentially dangerous commercial vehicle driver behaviour using a hand held video camera.

Drivers stopped by the Police were either warned or prosecuted for dangerous driving. During the three month pilot it became clear that the elevated position in the HGV tractor unit helped the police to not only observe dangerous HGV drivers but also the behaviour of car drivers and other light vehicles.

Some of the hazardous driving behaviour captured includes;

• texting / using mobile phones / face timing

• seat belt offences including a driver who had not worn a seat belt for over 20 years

• reading the newspaper

• watching a DVD

• brushing teeth

Over 450 offences were detected during the pilot in South East England and based on this success Highways England have leased a HGV tractor unit for another two years and in liaison with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) have agreed to make it available to all English Police Forces to support a national safety operation.

The project started on 30th March 2015 and is scheduled to tour the country on a monthly basis via regional police forces until April 2017. The aim of extending the pilot to a national project is to deter and discourage HGV non-compliance and improve driver behaviour.

Safety is a priority for Highways England and that’s why we’re working with the police to tackle and change poor driving behaviour. Doing what we can to reduce incidents on our network not only improves safety, it reduces congestion and provides more reliable journeys for the four million drivers that use England’s motorways and trunk roads each day.

Police forces partaking in the project have signed a Service Level Agreement with Highways England which includes their requirement to insure the vehicle, supply fuel and provide the necessary resources to fulfil the operation.

Figures collated from police forces taking part in the national project (April – Dec 2015) make for impressive reading. During this period 23 police forces have stopped 1,483 vehicles, detected 2,048 offences and issued 2,094 interventions. But the success of the project can be judged by one police force reporting that very few no seatbelt offences were detected because news of the HGV cab has spread amongst the roads community and a clear message is being sent to the community regarding road safety.

For more information, please e-mail IncidentPrevention@highways.gsi.gov.uk