A TRUCK driver who had spent more than 17 hours behind the wheel without taking a break was caught in a motorway operation by South Yorkshire Police last week.

The driver is just one of 23 being processed for driving offences following the operation last Wednesday.

Roads policing officers and colleagues from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) stopped 28 vehicles on the A1 as part of their ongoing work to reduce casualties on South Yorkshire’s roads.

The operation focussed on heavy goods vehicles and those carrying dangerous goods.

Of those stopped, nine drivers were issued penalties for overweight vehicles and six drivers were found to be exceeding their driving hours, with one driver having been consecutively behind the wheel.

Further offences included improper use of tachograph, not wearing a seatbelt, driving while on a mobile phone, inappropriately using the hard shoulder and vehicle defects or being unsafe.

Roads Policing Inspector Matt Collings said that these operations are invaluable: “Reducing fatalities and casualties remains our priority to creating safer roads. These operations are not about targeting certain drivers or businesses, but around ensuring that the law is abided and acknowledging that road traffic collisions involving larger vehicles can be catastrophic, so ensuring they are road worthy and safe is vitally important.

“Every driver and vehicle can be involved in a serious collision, but the rules around weight, driving hours and vehicle condition are there to ensure that the risk is reduced.

“Preventative work is difficult to measure but removing the driver from the road after they’d been driving for 17 hours without a break will have certainly reduced the likelihood of him causing a collision.

“We all have a part to play in creating safer roads and I hope the penalties imposed make drivers think twice and change their behaviour.”