A driver was caught speeding at 121mph on the M4 by an unmarked lorry manned by police as part of a four-day operation.

The Roads Policing Unit joined up with Highways England to use their HGV super cab in an effort to increase safety

Operation Tramline ran from Monday last week. The HGV was fitted with wide-angle cameras to capture unsafe driving and several motorists were stopped. 

They included 19 people driving without a seat belt, eight driving while using a mobile phone at the wheel, six traffic offence reports for speeding – with 121mph the fastest – and one arrest for possession of Class B drugs.  

Charmain Walsh, 30, of Constantine Square, Andover, was arrested and charged for failure to provide specimen for analysis and possession of cannabis after she was stopped on Monday, February 22, in a blue BMW on the M4 between junctions 16 and 17.

She had been remanded on unconditional bail to appear at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on August 4.  

Assistant chief constable Deb Smith joined the operation and said: “It is great that we are able to provide this level of activity across our strategic road network here in Wiltshire.

“Thanks to the support of, and through working in collaboration with Highways England, officers have been able to focus on offences that may not have ordinarily be seen from their position in a car. 

“The consequences that can result from any driver of a vehicle being distracted by virtue of being on a mobile phone can be devastating, so when the vehicle in question weighs 44 tonnes then the outcomes can understandably be far more serious. 

“Being able to add this element of enforcement and education to the rest of the road safety work that my officers are doing all over the county on a daily basis is excellent and we look forward to carrying this out again when the opportunity arises.” 

Officers will continue to use the HGV super cab on the major routes through Wiltshire. 
Sgt Will Ayres of the Roads Policing Unit added: “It was nice to be able to utilise the unmarked HGV to offer a different approach to detect offences that directly relate to road safety issues.

“The results, despite being in a national lockdown where driving is restricted to just essential journeys, show there is still a high number of drivers on the roads in Wiltshire who are putting other drivers in danger by using mobile phones, excessively speeding or drug driving."

“Despite the well-known dangers of not wearing a seat belt, there were still a disproportionate number of drivers who felt they did not need to buckle up on their journey.

“We will continue to educate drivers on the fatal four and why they increase the risk of a collision and that collision resulting in serious or fatal injuries and urge the public to think before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and ensure they are doing so in a safe manner and in a vehicle that is safe to be on the road.” 

Highways England’s South West Safety co-ordinator Beverley Hannah said: “The vast majority of drivers who use our roads every day behave responsibly behind the wheel, but there are some who are putting themselves and others at risk by simply ignoring the law.

“That is why we introduced the three super cabs, and we are working with our police partners across the country to tackle dangerous driving such as illegally using mobile phones, driving at excessive speeds, or not wearing seatbelts. We hope this operation will encourage all motorists to think about their driving.”