Officers have been stopping vehicles on the motorway as part of a drive to improve road safety.

A two-day road safety operation, which saw Wiltshire Police working with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, focused specifically around the road worthiness of vehicles and overloading.

These included HGVs, vehicles that require a movement order due to the size and/or weight and vehicles carrying goods such as vans and those with trailers and bike racks.

During last Thursday and Friday (September 19 and 20) the operation between Junction 18 and Membury Services on the M4 saw 12 vehicles stopped and around £1,800 worth of fixed penalty notices were issued to drivers that had vehicles in dangerous conditions.

Other drivers were given words of advice, while those with more serious issues were summonsed to court.

PC Alexandra Way, from Wiltshire Police’s roads policing unit, said: “This operation was targeted at those who drive vehicles which are in a very poor or dangerous condition, as well as those who are carrying goods and may be overloaded or unsafe.

“It was quite shocking that we saw so many issues during the two days, with many of the vehicles that we stopped presenting a serious risk to other road users.

“It’s particularly concerning that so many of these motorists had little or no awareness about the danger they presented – especially given how often these types of vehicles are contributory factors to collisions.

“We even stopped a STGO which had failed to submit a compulsory movement order and was driving at excess speed on the M4.

“Hopefully, this two-day event has helped to educate drivers, raised awareness about the laws of the road, and made the roads of Wiltshire much safer.”