Shocking footage has been released showing a lorry driver checking his mobile phone while resting his right foot on the dashboard.
He was among 4,000 dangerous drivers on England’s roads filmed from an unmarked HGV cab over the past two years.
The driver was caught on camera by police as he was travelling from the M18 onto the M62 near Goole.
Highways England said. Other offenders include:
:: A driver pulled over by Devon and Cornwall Police who was found to have sent 10 replies to text messages within one hour.
:: A man in the East Midlands spotted steering with his knees while he ate his lunch and used his phone.
:: A driver in Surrey seen trying to put toothpaste on a toothbrush.
The elevated position of the Highways England-funded cab allows police officers to film dangerous driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles on motorways and major A roads. Drivers are then pulled over by police cars following behind.
Twenty-eight police forces have taken part in the initiative since it began in April 2015, catching 4,176 drivers in relation to 5,039 offences.
Officers gave verbal advice to 388 drivers, issued 838 fixed or graduated penalty notices, and filed 3,318 traffic offence reports – usually requiring attendance at a driver education course. There were also 113 prosecutions for more serious offences.
Nearly two-thirds of those pulled over were using a mobile phone. Other offences include not wearing a seat belt, not being in proper control of the vehicle and speeding.
Highways England’s head of road safety Richard Leonard said: “The footage of the driver with his foot up on the dashboard is particularly alarming, and I dread to think what would have happened if he had needed to brake suddenly.
“We will continue to use the cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive.”
Latest figures show that 35 people were killed in accidents where a driver being distracted or impaired by their phone was a contributory factor in 2016, up from 22 the previous year. A further 137 road users were seriously injured in such incidents.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, said the HGV cab is “an important element of our intelligence-led operations against dangerous driving”.
He added: “People have to think about the consequences of their actions. A moment’s distraction can change innocent lives. It is never a risk worth taking.”
Since March 1, drivers who use a hand-held phone have faced receiving six points on their licence and a £200 fine – up from the previous penalty of three points and £100.
Figures obtained by the Press Association revealed that more than 200 drivers a day were caught using their mobile phones illegally in the four weeks after the changes took effect, equivalent to one every seven minutes.
Malcolm Bingham, head of road network management policy at the Freight Transport Association, said: “Drivers of any vehicles who fail to pay full attention while behind the wheel should undoubtedly be punished, and the Freight Transport Association fully supports enforcement of the law against those who bring discredit to the logistics industry.
“Our members are well aware of the need to pay full attention when operating a vehicle, and this is reinforced in all our member communications, at briefings and events.
“Driving while distracted is completely unacceptable, and while the vast majority of freight operators work to the letter of the law, we welcome any new initiative which identifies the small minority of those whose dangerous behaviour puts other road users at risk.”