BARNSLEY officers from the Roads Policing team have taken to new heights to create safer roads across the borough as part of a crackdown on mobile phone use.

This month, Highways England provided South Yorkshire Police with an unmarked HGV tractor unit, which allowed our officers to see inside vehicles of a greater height, including HGV’s and LGV’s.

The height of the vehicle enabled officers to film any unsafe behaviour taking place.

This comes after more than 2,000 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of a driver being distracted on motorways and major roads over five years.

Roads Policing Sergeant, Bruce Yacomeni, said: “I am extremely pleased that South Yorkshire Police are the first force in the country to make use of this unmarked HGV, provided fully funded through partnership working with Highways England.

“We have an extensive motorway network running through South Yorkshire and work hard to ensure the safety of all users.

“This initiative has allowed us to enhance and increase our detection rates of those drivers using their mobile phone behind the wheel, or committing other #Fatal4 offences - drink and drug driving, speeding and not wearing a seat belt.”

Sarah Watson-Quirk, Highways England regional road safety co-ordinator, added: “The vast majority of people drive responsibly and we hope this operation will encourage all road users to drive safely.

“We have several lorry cabs at Highways England that provide the police will a valuable tool to carry out their job enforcing the law.

“Unfortunately around 450 people are killed or seriously injured every year on England’s motorways and major A-roads as a result of a driver being impaired or distracted.

“Those who break the law by using mobile phones or distracted in other ways are putting lives at risk.”