‘Supercab’ to patrol M25 to cut driver smartphone use


Highways England’s ‘supercab’ is to patrol Britain’s most iconic motorway in a bid to increase road safety.

Working in conjunction with police forces whose patch covers the M25, the unmarked, specially adapted HGV will record drivers on their smartphones or other offences that often cause accidents.

The two week trial named Operation Orbital runs from 16 March to 27 March and follows a successful week of the vehicle operating on the M1 last year that led to collisions on that motorway being reduced by a third.

Colin Evans, regional road safety officer, for Highways England in the South East, said,

“We know that the vast majority of drivers obey the law but a few are risking potentially devastating consequences by driving dangerously.

“Over these two weeks of action, enforcement agencies will be carrying out a coordinated series of checks all around the M25 to help improve safety for everyone.”

The HGV supercab has a derestricted speed limiter, meaning it can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit.

Funded by Highways England, it will allow police to film evidence of unsafe behaviour by driving alongside vehicles, with offenders then pulled over by police cars that are following a short distance behind.

Co-ordinated by Highways England, the trial will involve police from the Metropolitan, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, Surrey and Thames Valley forces.

National Police Chiefs’ council lead for roads policing chief constable, Anthony Bangham, said, “I welcome initiatives to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads. We have seen similar successful collaborations between the police and Highways England in the past and I am pleased to see us working together again.

“We want all of those using our roads to do so safely and we will prosecute drivers who put themselves and others at risk by breaking the law.”

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James joined the Traffic Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.