SHOCKING footage released by a Highways England unmarked lorry has shown a trucker checking his phone while his food was on the dashboard.

The man was one of more than 4,000 dangerous drivers on England’s roads caught by a single unmarked lorry cab over the past two years by police forces, including Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Devon and Cornwall.

He was stopped by Humberside Police while travelling from the M18 onto the M62 near Goole.

Another driver pulled over by Devon and Cornwall Police was found to have sent 10 replies to 10 texts within one hour; a driver in Surrey was seen trying to put toothpaste on a toothbrush; and a driver in the East Midlands was spotted steering with his knees while he ate his lunch and used his mobile phone.

Latest statistics show that mobile phone use is a factor in an average of two deaths on the roads every month, with 124 people losing their lives over the past five years and 521 suffering a serious injury.

Richard Leonard, Highways England’s head of road safety, said: “The HGV cab, which is funded by Highways England, has been patrolling motorways and major A roads over the past couple of years with the aim of improving road safety.

“We’ve found that the vast majority of drivers are sensible behind the wheel but a few have got into bad habits, or are simply ignoring the law and putting themselves and others at risk.”

The elevated position of the cab allows police officers to film unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles on motorways and major A roads. Drivers are then pulled over by police cars following behind.

In total, 28 police forces have taken part in the HGV cab safety initiative since it began in April 2015, pulling over 4,176 drivers in relation to 5,039 offences.

Among the reasons for being stopped were:

• Using mobile phones – 2,508
• Not wearing seatbelts – 901
• Not in proper control of vehicles – 253
• Speeding – 249

Mr Leonard added: “It’s shocking that around two thirds of the drivers that were stopped were using their phones when the statistics show that mobile phone use contributes to two deaths every month on the roads.

“The footage of the driver with his foot up on the dashboard is particularly alarming, and I dread to think what would have happened if he had needed to brake suddenly. “We will continue to use the cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive.”

A new THINK! road safety video was also launched last month, directed by the team behind the video for Pharrell Williams’s hit song Happy, to highlight the dangers of using your phone while driving. The video is available to watch at

More details about the law on mobile phone use are available at