A two-week operation by Greater Manchester Police has been underway in a bid to tackle dangerous motorway driving using an undercover lorry.

The operation saw officers from Greater Manchester Police Road Policing Unit patrol the M60 in an HGV cab, kitted out with recording equipment, to target lorries driving dangerously.

The elevated position of the lorry cab enabled police officers to see more clearly into other HGVs and smaller vehicles and record offences as they were taking place. Drivers were stopped for a number of offences, including texting at the wheel, aggressive driving and shockingly one instance of a driver reading a book at the wheel.

Throughout the two-week period, a total of 71 people were stopped. Sixty-six of which were issued with tickets for driving without due care, one was given an on the spot fine and one vehicle was seized.

The undercover lorry is owned by Highways England and is being loaned out to police forces across the country to help with road policing.

Inspector Susan Redfern of Greater Manchester Police said: “The operation has been a big success and we are delighted with how it has gone.

"We have had some good results over the course of Operation Tramline and I hope that those people who have been issued with penalties take their punishments to heart and stop committing offences that are endangering the lives of other drivers…”

Imogen Wetton, a senior serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Manchester office, said: “Latest research by the Department for Transport shows that many drivers are flouting the law to use their phone at the wheel, be it to make calls, send texts or use social media, despite a ban being in place for more than 10 years.

“Traffic policing needs to be made a high priority if we are to prevent drivers from behaving recklessly and putting themselves and others at risk.

“While initiatives like Operation Tramline are a step in the right direction, there needs to be a sustained effort to crackdown on traffic offences if we are to see a reduction in the number of road traffic accidents on our roads. Police forces need to be given the necessary budgets and resources to carry out operations that will help make Britain’s roads safer long-term.”