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Operation Freeway catches hundreds of drivers on M1

14 Apr 2023

National Highways HGV cabs were used by police to travel the M1 between Leeds and London on the lookout for unsafe driving.  Operation Freeway which took place in the first week of March this year, saw 8 police forces teaming up and a total of 663 vehicles stopped.

Of the 663 vehicles stopped 180 were HGVs and 204 private cars.  691 offences were uncovered, the most common being not wearing a seat belt with 239 people caught.

People spotted using a mobile phone at the wheel numbered 181, then 44 drivers not in proper control of their vehicle and 43 driving without due care and attention.

Penalties ranged from advice and traffic offence reports to 14 court summons and 5 arrests.

National Highways Head of Road safety, Jeremy Phillips said:

“Hundreds of thousands of motorists travel over 21 million miles on the M1 every day – accounting for one in seven of all motorway journeys – and the vast majority are safe and legal drivers.”

“But there is a minority that continue to put themselves and others at risk.  It is disappointing that almost 700 offences were spotted in just one week – but thanks to Operation Freeway those drivers were prevented from continuing with their unsafe behaviours.”

Sergeant James Parmar of West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit said:

“We stopped 86 drivers on West Yorkshire’s stretch of the M1 during Operation Freeway for over 90 offences.  The vast majority of these were driving HGV or LGV vehicles and stopped for fatal five offences.”

“The reality is that the dangers of action such as using a mobile phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt or driving without due care and attention are potentially even more catastrophic when a larger vehicle is involved.  The action that we have taken, alongside other police forces and National Highways, is all about keeping our roads safe for everyone.”