Watch the moment police officers are nearly wiped out by trucker on the phone at the wheel

Shocking footage released to highlight dangers of phone use as forces begin week of increased enforcement using ‘supercabs’

Police have released footage of an HGV driver almost smashing into their vehicle because he was on his phone.

The near-miss shows the articulated lorry weaving across lanes and almost colliding with their “Supercab” truck while the driver uses his phone.

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The incident is one of a number being shared as police launch Operation Vertebrae - a week-long campaign of enforcement on Britain’s longest motorway, the M6.

Police use the supercabs for a better vantage point to spot offenders

The “week of action” will see forces along the 230 miles of road use the unmarked lorries, supplied by Highways England, to monitor driving and capture law-breakers in the act.

Highways England head of road safety Jeremy Phillips said: “The Operation Tramline cabs are an important part of our commitment to tackling dangerous driving and those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and that of others on the road.

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“The number of people found using their mobile phone while driving is quite alarming. You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone and, if caught, face a £200 fine and six points on your licence.

“Through this week of action on the M6 we want to make all of our roads safer by raising awareness and encouraging motorists to consider their driving behaviour.”

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Police will be using the unmarked cabs along the M6 during Operation Vertebrae
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Since the supercabs were introduced for police use by Highways England in 2015 almost 20,000 vehicles have been stopped and more than 21,600 offences recorded. Of those, 6,073 were using a mobile phone, while 6,253 were not wearing a seatbelt and 1,501 were not being in proper control of a vehicle. Just fewer than 1,200 were speeding offences.

Other incidents released to mark Operation Vertebrae include a trucker who gives police a thumbs up after being caught texting at the wheel and a car driver who continues to text, unaware of the police right beside him. Police also report spotting one driver using a knife and fork to eat lasagne while driving and another steering with his knees while eating and using his phone.

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Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing said: “We remain committed to tackling those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and the safety of others on our roads by allowing themselves to be distracted while driving. The consequences of these actions are often devastating. We will continue to work alongside Highways England on Operation Tramline and will prosecute drivers who ignore the risks.”