Thousands of pounds recovered and 375 offences spotted during Operation Pennine


21 Nov 2023

Thousands of pounds recovered and 375 offences spotted during Operation Pennine

More than 400 vehicles were stopped by police officers patrolling the M62 in our unmarked HGV cabs during a month of action.

Operation Pennine saw police forces travel the route between Liverpool and Hull in the HGVs on the look-out for unsafe driving during the period in which they hired the cabs.

Each force used the unmarked HGV cabs during their own weeks of action throughout the month of October and helped stop a number of potential accidents, halting rule-breaking drivers in their tracks.

Officers from Merseyside, Liverpool Ports Police, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire stopped a total of 435 vehicles and uncovered 375 offences. The North West Commercial Vehicle Unit was also on hand to patrol various stretches of the M62.

Ourselves, police forces and other partner agencies, including TyreSafe, were also on hand at several service stations along the M62 to give drivers advice.

The most common offence was drivers using their mobile phone at the wheel – 86 in total.
Thirty-four people were found to have not been wearing a seatbelt while 49 were found to have breached the rules around driving hours.

Caption: Police in Manchester stopped a 3.5-tonne transporter which was carrying a vintage American car to the south of England – only to be found 1105kg overweight.

We provided the unmarked HGV cabs to police forces across the country as part of Operation Pennine. From the elevated position in the HGV, officers can spot unsafe driving behaviour – whatever vehicle the motorist may be in.

Hundreds of thousands of drivers travel on the M62 every day and in 2022 there were 28,607 incidents on the M62. Of those 28,607 incidents, 1,651 were traffic collisions.

During 2022 on the M62, Merseyside police found 30 people to not be wearing a seatbelt, 59 using mobile phone and eight people not in proper control of their vehicle. A further 140 people were found to have been speeding.

The 435 vehicles stopped during the month of action included 175 HGVs and 96 private vehicles.

Officers in West Yorkshire were able to track down a stolen fibre glass car transport trailer which activated ANPR on the motorway. It was tracked to a nearby city and recovered.

The North West Commercial Vehicle Unit were able to recover a £15,000 civil penalty issued in relation to a people smuggling case.

Greater Manchester Police found a common theme on their stretch of the M62 with 66 vehicles being found to be overweight.

Lisa Scott, National Highways’ Regional Safety Programme Manager for the North West, said: “Hundreds of thousands of motorists travel on our network each day – the majority of which complete their journeys legally and safely.

“However, there is a minority that continue to put themselves and others at risk. It is disappointing that almost 400 offences were spotted during the month of action – but thanks to Operations Pennine and Tramline those drivers were prevented from continuing with their unsafe behaviours.”

Nicola Clayton, National Highways’ Safety Programme Manager for Yorkshire and the North East, added: “Through this month of action we aim to reduce the number of incidents on the M62 and the rest of the roads in the North West and Yorkshire and the North East. We also aim to encourage motorists to think about their driving and to adopt safer behaviours.”

Sergeant Matt Picton, from the North West Commercial Vehicle unit, said:  “This month of action has shed some light on just how many drivers on our roads are willing to take risks that could have serious consequences.

“Operation Pennine saw hundreds of drivers stopped for a wide variety of reasons – all which could have contributed to a serious, maybe even fatal, accident.

“Using a mobile phone, no seat belt, speeding, poor mechanical condition, breach of drivers' hours, over loaded vehicles are all things that can be eradicated from our roads if people just stop and think before they act.  

“We are committed to making all roads safer and we will continue to enforce road traffic legislation daily and target those who risk the most harm to the public who just want to go about their daily business without fear of injury or death.”