MORE than 80 drivers were caught flouting the law on the county's motorways during a crackdown by police.

A five day operation launched across Hampshire and the Thames Valley resulted in 88 motorists being prosecuted for driving whilst distracted including 55 caught driving whilst using their mobile phones.

Four vehicles were dedicated to the operation from Monday to Friday last week including two marked cars, one two marked motorbikes, and an unmarked Scania lorry cab, hired specifically for the operation along the M27 and M3, M4, M40 and the M25.

Throughout Operation Tramline, an HGV-qualified officer drove the cab whilst an observer recorded and videoed any offences committed.

Sergeant Paul Diamond, who led the operation said: “We know for sure that we were to able to detect at least 28 offences from the high up vantage point that the cab gives us, that we could not have spotted from ground level.”

Out of the 112 drivers stopped, 55 were caught using a phone, 33 distraction offences were recorded, 68 notices issued.

Four motorists were also caught speeding, one went through a red light, four reported for unnecessary over taking and two for seatbelt offences.

There were also a number of offences committed by commercial drivers including load infringements and not taking the required amount of rest breaks.

Sergeant Diamond who led the operation in conjunction with Thames Valley under a new Joint Operations Unit Roads Policing Unit, said: “This was a very successful operation which we will run again. Our message could not be clearer - focus on the wheel when you're driving - no phone call, text message or anything else is as important as a person's life.”