ALMOST 40 motorists on Hampshire roads have been caught driving while distracted in three days.

It comes as part of a crackdown on driving offences in a bid to decrease the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads by 40 per cent.

Three plain white HGV tractor units were loaned out to police forces by Highways England to help improve safety for drivers on the strategic road network in England.

Officers took to the M27, M3 and A34 to film any unsafe driver behaviour they spotted.

Sergeant Paul Diamond, from the Roads Policing Commercial Vehicle Unit, said: “We run these operations regularly because we see collisions every day of the week caused by drivers not concentrating on the road ahead.”

From Tuesday to Thursday, officers from Hampshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit worked in partnership with Highways England and the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) and found 39 drivers were spotted driving while distracted in that time, including 29 on the M27, eight on the M3 and two on the A34.

This included some watching videos or the news on their phone, sending text messages and others with their dogs sitting in their laps.

“Most of the offenders are not horrible criminals, they are often kind and decent people but they just don’t realise the consequences of their actions, not just to the victims but on their own lives and to the security of their jobs and family,” said Sgt Diamond.

“We want to keep these people out of court just as much as we want to prevent casualties.

“It’s a life changing event for everyone involved in a fatal crash, and if the driver was accessing a phone at the time then they are very likely to go to prison, even if they have never been in trouble previously. People’s lives change forever on a split second decision and that text just isn’t worth the risk.”

A number of HGVs were also stopped for offences including careless driving, driving hours infringements and being parked on the hard shoulder.

Since the initiative began, Operation Tramline has stopped 9,674 vehicles resulting in 10,926 offences, with 11,338 interventions dispensed.